[Vision2020] Bill Links Land Use, Global Warming

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sat Mar 8 08:01:10 PST 2008

>From today's (March 8, 2008) Spokesman review -

"And they [denser communities] reduce the need for costly water lines, 
sewer systems, roads, bridges and so on. Sprawl, the Spokane Democrat 
says, is costly."


Bill links land use, global warming 
House OKs Sen. Marr's plan, which fights sprawl

Washington State Bill 6580
Addressing the impacts of climate change through the growth management act.

OLYMPIA – As state Sen. Chris Marr sees it, a key way to combat global 
warming – and save taxpayer dollars – is to encourage people to live in 
denser communities.

Such communities cut down on car trips, for one thing. And they reduce the 
need for costly water lines, sewer systems, roads, bridges and so on. 
Sprawl, the Spokane Democrat says, is costly.

But that idea has been difficult to convey in the Statehouse, where many 
of Marr's fellow Eastern Washington lawmakers fear a threat to rural 
lifestyles and jobs.

It looks like Marr's vision won.

Early Friday morning, the state House of Representatives approved his bill 
encouraging local governments to consider global warming as a factor in 
land-use decisions. The Senate is expected to concur, then send the 
proposal, Senate Bill 6580, to the governor to be signed into law.

"This is literally the bill with nine lives," said Marr, referring to its 
struggles and negotiation.

It's a watered-down version of his original plan, which contained specific 
goals and spelled out the steps for large cities and counties. The final 
version focuses more on setting up grants to help six cities and three 
counties – the city of Spokane is expected to be one of them – figure out 
ways to incorporate global warming into planning decisions.

The bill also requires the state to develop software to gauge local 
effects on global warming.

Many Republicans are leery of the measure. It's a mistake to link global 
warming to the already-controversial Growth Management Act, they say. 
Ultimately, many predict, the changes will hurt property rights.

"Please don't tell people in Eastern Washington and other areas that they 
are not taking care of their air, their land and their communities," said 
Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake.

Several said there's no need to rush the proposal.

"It's like we're scurrying to get something done, like something's going 
to happen to discredit the whole global-warming thing," said Rep. Ed 
Orcutt, R-Kalama.

But Rep. Deb Eddy, D-Kirkland, said it makes sense to try to reduce 
discretionary vehicle travel. It would reduce greenhouse gases and gas 
consumption, she said.

Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, said he has no desire to live in a cramped 
city, nor should his constituents have to.

"I am selfish," he told lawmakers. "I'm not willing to do this."

Marr says the costs to taxpayers are as big a reason for the change as 
global warming. After decades of building homes and businesses farther and 
farther from urban centers, he said, taxpayers are left with a longer list 
of utilities and roads to maintain.

"There's a growing realization of that," he said. "I think the public is 
saying, 'Why do I have to pay for this stuff?' " People are still free to 
live where they want, he said. "The question is, should that right be 
subsidized by other taxpayers?" he said.


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"People who ridicule others while hiding behind anonymous monikers in chat-
room forums are neither brave nor clever." 

- Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch (August 21,

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