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With Mayor Harding’s Yelm growth plans impeded by water case –
“Civilian ‘encroachment’ on JBLM training draws renewed attention”


“A stalled proposal for a 5,000-home development [Thurston Highlands] in Yelm worries some military
advocates in the South Sound because it could infringe on Army training areas at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
A part of the base near Yelm is often a place for helicopter training, firing ranges and artillery drills.”
Photo credit: Peter Haley, Tacoma News Tribune Staff photographer



With the October 8th decision by the WA Supreme Court to rescind Ecology’s more-than-doubling of Yelm’s water rights, Yelm’s huge population growth from almost 10 years of Mayor Harding’s relentless quest has finally been impeded.


* The City of Yelm has been worried that 2 citizens’ WA Supreme Court cases encroached on their development plans, while all along, the military has been worried that Yelm’s large developments encroached on their activities.
Either way, Harding’s growth plans are now in the cross-hairs.

* As an example, in February 2009, Mayor Ron Haring appeared before the State Legislature about State Bill 5867 stemming from the case of JZ Knight vs. City of Yelm et al.

The Senate Environment, Water and Energy Committee asked why the lawsuit [Knight’s] against the city came forward.
Mayor Harding said the litigation is a land use issue.
While Knight originally filed a land use appeal in Thurston County Superior Court, she wanted to protect her senior water rights.
Harding went on to tell the legislators, “The opponent (JZ Knight) used water and water timing as a mechanism to stop growth in the area.”
That was false.

Knight’s & Foster’s water cases against Yelm & Ecology respectively, were property rights issues.


* On top of that came the news last week by Adam Ashton in the Tacoma News Tribune
that a Pentagon-funded land-use study, to be released at a town hall meeting in DuPont tomorrow, has taken aim at conflicts between military training and growth in the civilian communities around JBLM, like Yelm.


“It calls on local governments to reignite a decadeslong effort to buy privately owned buildings on the northern edge of McChord Air Field that worry the Air Force and to reassess a major development proposed for Yelm [Thurston Highlands] near Army training grounds.”

“To Defense Department planners, new developments that make military training unappealing in urban areas are referred to as encroachment. It’s a factor the military weighs when it decides how to place forces at domestic bases.

Fewer encroachments would make JBLM look better in comparison to other military outposts if it comes to cuts,” quoting Adam Ashton, Tacoma News Tribune.
Read more

– JBLM hosts an Open House Tuesday to examine Regional planning issues.”
“An open house is from 5-7 p.m. at DuPont Emergency Operations Center, 1700 Civic Drive, DuPont.”
Click here for more information.

Posted by Steve on October 19, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

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