Michele St. Pierre (c) 2013
With hearings on the Growth Management Act scheduled in Olympia and a bill to repeal it introduced in the House by Representatives Taylor, Overstreet, Shea, Short, Rodne, Hargrove, and Haler, it is time to revisit the GMA.
HB 1167 – DIGEST
Finds that growth management planning requirements create compliance costs that are a significant burden to taxpayers and inappropriate redirection of limited financial resources away from essential local government functions.
Repeals chapter 36.70A RCW (Growth mManagement Act). Requires the department of commerce to prepare recommendations, in the form of draft legislation, to modify or repeal statutory provisions associated with chapter 36.70A RCW that are affected by the repeal of that chapter.
The People – Set Up and Sold Out
Growth Management is sold as a solution to “out of control” urban sprawl. It is sold as an environmental panacea for all the ills of society. It is sold by convincing the unwary that a benevolent, big brother government knows what it best for everyone. It is sold on the basis that it is good for the collective. What is the reality?
The Death of the Small Town
There will never be any new small towns in the Western States that have passed the Growth Management litmus test. They have been legislated out of existence. Development can only occur within already existing urban growth zones. The cities (zoned for high density growth) will rapidly become cesspools of urban blight. The planned ugliness of this environment will increase the insistence of urban people on the confiscation of rural lands for preservation, so that they might have a weekend driving destination. Rural people will more and more be forced to move into the urban environments. The Federal government (who already control the vast majority of rural and mountainous land) will solidify its holdings. As they tear up roads, eliminate campgrounds, eradicate trails (all under the guise of “saving the environment”) the pressure from urban dwellers forced to live in a noxious, crowded city, to set aside more land will grow as the scarcity of public “weekend escape” land dimishes. And so the cycle perpetuates itself.
Unelected Commissars With Unlimited Power
Land use under Growth Management ends up being controlled by an unelected group of commissars and this provides an opportunity for bribery and corruption. If you don’t have a friend in the County, if you don’t “give” to the right political party, if you aren’t in with the in crowd, you don’t get to build anything. Building Inspectors are paid off all the time by developers and contractors whose multimillion dollar project might rest upon the approval of one such commissar who knows that his yeah or nay is going to doom a project or spare it. Growth Management was touted as a way to preserve rural land and stop big cookie cutter development. The resultant reality is that really big developers perform mitigation, where they trade off one piece of land (possibly a wetland swamp which they could not build on anyway) in order to build huge housing developments, which is what environmentalists were trying to stop. A little guy, however, who might want to build or subdivide, doesn’t have the extra land to mitigate, nor can he afford to bribe the building department.
As a Real Estate Agent selling properties in Snohomish County, Washington (just north of Seattle), the minifarm (homes with 1-20 acres of land) was the most desirable property. If you wanted a horse and a big garden and maybe a few chickens and a cow and a great place to raise a passel of kids, this was the ultimate destination. Many working class families, employed by Boeing and the High Tech industries, could and did buy homes on some acreage. Now, with Growth Management having been in place for 20 plus years, these properties have become affordable only for the very rich. There will be no more of this kind of neighborhood developed, even though it is so much a part of many Americans’ ideal dream home.
The Destruction of Beautiful, Single-Family Home, Cities
One of the lovely things about Seattle was that it was a city filled with single-family homes with lovely trees and gardens. Birds and wildlife still lived in this environment. Now, due to Growth Management, all of the single-family home areas are slated for multiplex development. You might find now that right next to, or across the street from your lovely home, all the other homes are torn down to build an enormous multiplex which uses every inch of the land, packing people into a filing cabinet environment. Most people find this ugly and undesirable. But when this legislation was passed, they didn’t realize that this would be the result. They didn’t fight it because they thought the legislation would only affect rural people, would only force rural people to be unable to use their land as they saw fit. Now that it is too late, they find that it affects them as well in an exceedingly negative way. Unfortunately, they may be getting what they deserved for buying into this.
Growth Management – Tried and Failed
In Oregon, they have had growth management for 30 years. In Portland, there are very few mini-farms. There is no sub-rural environment. You go from high-density housing developments on tiny lots to farmland, which is zoned at least 40-80 acres per dwelling. The most popular and aspired to (and imminently desirable) home on 5 acres with a little elbowroom, does not exist there. If you can find such a home from an earlier time, it is prohibitively expensive for most people.
In Holland, where they have had Growth Management’s equivalent for 40 years, you can see the end result of this line of thinking. The working class lives in a highly developed urban environment dominated by large high-rise multiplexes. There are few single-family homes. Outside of this is the farming area, which is owned and dominated by the large, entrenched farming families that have been there for generations. There is no way for a person to break into farming or for the working class to live in a nonurban environment.
So with Growth Management, the small landowner gets screwed, the utopian environmentalists get screwed, the rural people get screwed, and the urban people get screwed.
Who isn’t getting screwed?
Why the big government bureaucracies, that’s who!
They’re swimming in gravy, reveling in a big, powerful growth industry, feeding off their control of the land’s wealth. They grant the favors and if you don’t kiss the ring of the almighty state and often even if you do, they will screw you in the end. They have volumes of regulations with which to do so.
Who Provided the Cookie Cutter Legislation?
This is where the Unite Nation’s Agenda 21 comes in, and while it is beyond the scope of this article, yes, you can blame this on Globalists, using their pawns, the Environmental Movement, to push this on every state until all have fallen under the yoke.
When Washington State had Growth Management on the ballot it was resoundingly defeated by an overwhelming majority. At that time, I recall seeing an Environmentalist being interviewed on TV frothing and screaming that this defeat did not matter. They would force this on the people through the State Legislature. Which is exactly what they did. Unfortunately, the people were careless about who they elected. The legislature did pass this against the express will of the majority. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The 2/3 vote to raise taxes comes to mind.
Yet the people keep voting in the people who do not listen to them, who have their own agendas and are working consciously or unconsciously to destroy the basis of the American Republic, which is private property. The Growth Management Act is not only fraud, it is tyranny. It is bringing with it poverty, injustice and famine. We need a political solution. To avoid bloodshed.
Contact your legislators to voice your support of HB 1167. Olympia’s Freedom Agenda Team needs your help.