Kathy McCormick retired from the Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) after the Sustainable Thurston Plan was completed. She interfaced and presented to the Yelm City Council several times during her tenure, and provides an excellent overview below.
Click here for the Sustainable Thurston Plan.
– “A ‘sustainable’ Thurston County needs wise use of land”
By Kathy McCormick, Special to The Olympian
“Rural area growth on septics is the major threat to clean water and Puget Sound and would also result in loss of 32 percent of existing farmland, and 10 percent of forest lands in county areas. Our region would bear the added burden of increased public services including law enforcement, fire, emergency services and road maintenance and spend $1.6 billion on new road, utility and other related infrastructure expense needed to support scattered rural area development.
“The Sustainable Thurston Plan is based on the goal of building 95 percent of new development in cities and towns and their urban growth areas. This more efficient use of land over 25 years will achieve state and Sustainable Thurston goals for greenhouse gas emissions — with no net loss of farmland; no net loss of forest land; stream basins and Puget Sound protected; as well as many other benefits related to social, environmental and economic goals.”