“Growth is the largest contributor of what he [Police Chief Todd Stancil] called a pretty significant increase in calls for service.”
Professional Engineer Ed Wiltsie (now deceased), Bill Hashim (then a 25+ year Ecology veteran) and I all publicly commented to the Yelm City Council in 2005 and 2006 about the “Lessons of Consequence” this city would face with their GROW, GROW, GROW policies, where the population has more than doubled since then, with Yelm in the top-ten growing cities in the State of Washington.
Now, this week’s Nisqually Valley News headline story underscores what the three of us said almost ten years ago, where Yelm City Council’s policies will bring to this lovely rural town:
– increased traffic where road expansion will be continually required
– side streets will end up carrying truck and commercial traffic through our neighborhoods where children play
– air, water and noise pollution will proliferate
– ground-water runoff from big-box stores’ parking lots containing toxic vehicle oils will occur
– pressure on water resources with so much water pumped from the ground
– increased gray water and sewage taxing the city’s water treatment facilities
– crime will steadily increase, disproportionately
Now, all of those things have occurred!
A BRIEF HISTORY
1. On June 28, 2006, Bill Hashim penned this Guest Entry for this Blog on this very subject
2. On October 24, 2006, Ed Wiltsie, PE was the only speaker to make a public comment at the 2006 City Council meeting regarding Ordinance 858 amending the Yelm Comprehensive Plan regarding traffic. Even the city’s own Development Director, Grant Beck stated in his staff report to the Council that evening: “The City Council should carefully consider the points raised by Mr. Wiltsie in which he indicates that the establishment of a [traffic grade] level of service F in the downtown core is not being used as intended by the 2001 Comprehensive Transportation Plan as adopted by the Yelm Planning Commission and the Yelm City Council, as the intention of the City Council is ultimately determined by the City Council. If the Council’s intention is correctly expressed by Mr. Wiltsie’s comments, it should clarify that for the record.”
Yet, the City approved the Comprehensive Plan revisions unanimously anyway without nay consideration of Wiltsie’s or Beck’s comments.
3. I stated on September 8, 2006 in a letter published in the NVN:
“Developers…impact/mitigation fees were a good idea and I applaud the City of Yelm for embracing them in 1995. However the City was following the general trends of area jurisdictions and the process has not been updated here since that 1995 adoption…The City taxpayer (not Wal-Mart) will end up paying for road widening of Yelm Hwy and continuing streets construction to accommodate Wal-Mart generated traffic, since those vehicles will have no Y3 Loop for years and be forced onto city streets. The city mitigation fees did not require Wal-Mart to cover this condition adequately.” Yet, the city says fees are adequate with no action planned. Yelm taxpayer will pay.
4. On April 13, 2005, Yelm area resident Bill Hashim requested of the City Council that a moratorium be placed on any further building here until the Critical Area’s Update could be completed – a moratorium that would have placed the then-proposed Wal-Mart Superstore approval process on hold until more study and compliance with the Growth Management Hearings Board could be accomplished.
So outraged was the City Council at the continuing public outcry about a Wal-Mart here, then City Council member Bob Isom (now Mayor Pro-tem) immediately motioned for a moratorium on moratoriums and at another council session, passed a resolution that the name Wal-Mart and/or big box stores not be brought before the council again.