The Thurston County Board of Commissioners approved the Yelm Comprehensive Plan.
Quoting Thurston County Associate Planner for Development Services Aimee Swenson,
“the Commissioners said there are no policy changes that are occurring [referring to Yelm’s Comprehensive Plan]. They approved the textural changes. Any legal appeal to this decision goes through the City of Yelm.”
1. Yelm will still be allowed to grow with no constraints to adding housing which will add traffic here annually, unless the national housing slump dampens home sales here.
2. The Yelm Bypass is over a decade away if at all, so that cannot be relied on to relive traffic. Remember, Yelm’s Super Wal-Mart was approved here with the Yelm Bypass mitigating their traffic. That is folly.
3. There is no money from the State for any road projects, so look for more gridlock conditions on Yelm Ave. as more housing/business construction is completed.
4. Yelm is apt to be nothing more than a car-strangled spanner connecting southern Pierce & Thurston Counties in the days, weeks and years and decade ahead.
5. Many are on the record warning officials of impending traffic problems on the horizon here.
To recap the details leading up to this decision:
The Thurston County Board of Commissioners took testimony at a Public Hearing December 4, 2007 about the Yelm Comprehensive Plan Amendments, and specially the Transportation Chapter.
Chair Diane Oberquell opened that Hearing stating that the City of Yelm would have 10 minutes, followed by the attorney representing JZ Knight, then the public would have 3 minutes each, without repeating what was previously stated.
Representing the City of Yelm were talks by Assoc. City Planner Merriman, Community Development Director Beck, TRPC Rep. McCormick & Mayor Harding. Others in the audience supporting the city’s plan were newly appointed Yelm Planning Commission Chair Carlos Perez, City Council member John Thompson representing the entire Yelm City Council and Mike Edwards, Thurston County EDC Board member, large Yelm landowner and Yelm pioneer family descendant.
Several letters were received by the Commission and several public members spoke highlighting various aspects of Yelm’s traffic issues and city policies that do not address several aspects of roads, developmental approvals and traffic approaching gridlock status.
The Public Hearing lasted and hour.
The Board of Commissioners conducted Work Sessions on Dec. 12 and Dec. 18 to review amongst themselves all of the public input on the Comprehensive Plan.
The Thurston County Planning Commission conducted a Public Hearing on October 10, 2007 on the Yelm Comprehensive Plan and recommended to the Commissioners that the Plan NOT be approved.