Rural acreage rules need new look

Not so long ago, parents or grandparents could give a parcel of property to a family member and stay in their home or they could sell a parcel or two to assist them in retirement. These parcels would usually be 1-acre parcels cut out of a 5- or 10-acre parcel.

A few years ago it was decided that growth should be along the I-5 corridor, allowing for public utilities and transportation. Our planners seemed to neglect that existing paved roads and public water were close to our outlying rural towns and should be considered to accommodate our rural lifestyle.

Examples near the city of Snohomish include three areas: Fobes, Dutch Hill and Clearview. They are very handy to Snohomish and are mostly restricted to 5-acre minimums. We have families that would love to garden, have a workshop, chores for their children, and be arms-length to other homes. Our planners say the powers that be address this issue every so many years and this topic is out of their hands. Instead, we must count on some so-called expert that has not lived in our area and does not understand our traditions, to plan our future. They do, however, schedule public planning meetings to give the appearance that they really wish to comply with and understand our concerns — then nothing changes — they stay the course with no consideration for our needs and traditions.

I think consideration for 1-acre lots close to our rural towns but out of the comprehensive growth areas, should be considered.

Consideration would be made for qualified septic systems, native growth protection and so on. Not every family can afford the expensive sewer and water bills that towns impose. I have observed that this lack of common-sense planning gets increasingly worse over my 40-year real estate career.

Denny Perrigoue