County comp plan hearings next week

  • Jeff Switzer<br>For the Enterprise
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:44am

Where should the county put about 300,000 more people, their houses, cars and jobs?

Officials want to hear next week during four straight days of public hearings.

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon has proposed opening up more rural land for housing and commercial developments to make room for more people and jobs through 2025.

His proposal also boosts the number of houses and apartments per acre within existing cities and urban areas.

Although the County Council is primarily looking at unincorporated county land, they will consider several countywide issues that will interest city residents, said County Council member Dave Gossett.

“What is going to happen in their neighborhood is a city issue,” for city residents, said Gossett, who represents Bothell, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace and nearby unincorporated areas. “The kind of issues that will impact city residents is what we (the county) are going to do about protecting the environment, what we are going to do about preserving agricultural lands, what we are going to do about transportation on those roads in unincorporated county areas. There is certainly important impacts that they (city residents) will want to look at.”

After nearly three years of study and debate, the Snohomish County Council has its turn.

The council plans more than 24 hours of public hearings spread next week.

The state Growth Management Act requires the county to give a full review of its housing and development plans once a decade.

“Anybody who feels like they haven’t been heard, come to the council,” County Council member Jeff Sax said. “There haven’t been any final decisions, and anything is still possible.”

Jeff Switzer is a reporter with The Herald in Everett. Enterprise writer Jenny Lynn Zappala contributed to this report.

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