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This writer wrote a Letter to the NVN due out today:

Dear Editor,

Frankly, I am quite taken aback at the silence about the single thing that will change this community forever; that of a 5,000 home development. The public comment period ended July 28 for the Thurston Highlands Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) with no word from the anti-NASCAR and anti-Wal-Mart crowd and only a couple of published Letters to the Editor about the proposal. Yet, the Nisqually Plaza commuter parking issue garnered so much community clamor and front page stories that even a mayor-appointed citizen committee member wrote a letter.

Does the public know some features of the Draft EIS:
1. A Regional Sports Complex is an element of all three land use alternatives, with a joint public/private partnership for operations. Will the public get to vote on that?

2. A proposed Urban Village to serve the retail and professional service needs of the residents of Thurston Highlands that “could create the feeling of a separate community within the greater Yelm community.” So, we are going to allow the feeling of a separate community within the greater Yelm community and not debate what impact this will have on the region as a whole?

3. Three alternatives that propose 1-1.5 million square feet of new commercial space, which equates to 5 to 8 Super Wal-Marts, “but not compete with the existing Yelm commercial core.”
How does 1 million square feet of new commercial space NOT compete with Yelm’s existing commercial core?

4. The current Yelm Vision Plan of the Comprehensive Plan that states, “Develop retail and commercial services to meet the needs of Yelms growing population. Focus new commercial services in existing commercial areas. Restrict new commercial development outside the current commercially zoned area along Yelm venue.”
Isn’t 1 million square feet of new commercial space in Thurston Highlands in an area away from the existing commercial core the end of the Yelm Vision Plan?

Where was every merchant in this town NOT holding the city’s feet to the fire on this issue to request an extension to deal with this DEIS more thoroughly?
Why was there no community debate, public outcry and conversation about the Thurston Highlands DEIS?
Where was the City’s own Planning Commission comments on this DEIS, which effectively paves the end to the city’s Vision Plan?

Stephen R. Klein
Yelm, WA.

Ed. Note:
I applaud those few people that took the time to write letters on the record.
For those of you wishing to read the letters written to the Community Development Director on this issue and now part of the public domain:
Click Here
then click the Thurston Highlands logo on the right side of the page.
then click on this hotlink:
“Click here to view all comments received during the comment period.”
Ed. Note: Only one person involved with the Yelm Vision Plan wrote a letter. Where was everyone else?

Want to see the DEIS?
That has been moved to a super-secret, hidden location, not easily pubic-accessible:
Click here
then click Permits
then Thurston Highlands

All tongue-in-cheek comments aside, you can scroll down on the Thurston Highlands link for the DEIS.
Why the city did not put a hotlink at the top of the Thurston Highlands page under the comments hotlink for the public benefit in order allow easier public access to the DEIS is beyond me, though.
Couldn’t they make this info more publicly accessible?

Posted by Steve on July 31, 2008 at 5:08 am | Permalink

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  1. “That has been moved to a super-secret, hidden location, not easily pubic-accessible” was a tongue-in-cheek comment that the city has moved this public DEIS to a seemingly more remote page.

    Comment by Steve on August 1, 2008 at 5:01 am

  2. Thanks Steve: Is this the way we stay in touch with what happens next on the EIS process rather than call the Community Development? I found that my comments had been received but no mitigation noted.

    Comment by Gail on August 1, 2008 at 5:02 pm

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