Thank you for your Aug. 9 article about the Whatcom County Council's action regarding the rural element on Aug. 7. We of Futurewise Whatcom believe this was nothing short of a lost opportunity. This has been a long and unnecessarily complicated process, damaging our community spirit and fraying nerves. While continuing to shut out certain constituents' ideas and openly embracing others, the result is a terribly unbalanced ordinance that none of the council members liked and frustrated people from every perspective. I suggested during the public hearing that the council should bring all parties on all sides of the issue together to build a compliant ordinance that is good for the people and environment of Whatcom County. The council's lack of interest in this collaborative approach was disappointing to say the least. I believe the ordinance they passed that night doesn't protect water quality nor does it address the significant number of developable lots in the county's rural areas. It facilitates sprawl in our vital rural areas, hurts Whatcom County businesses, and allows continued damage to our natural resources. This ordinance will certainly be found out of compliance with state law. We continue to urge the council bring all of the parties engaged in this process together to build an ordinance that works for our community. Let's come together and solve this problem so we can all move on.