The No. 1 issue facing voters in Washington's 1st Congressional District is the concept of urban sprawl and the direct impact on their quality of life. I propose a moratorium on future development north of the Snohomish River. As a result, an immediate impact will be directed towards the cities of Monroe, Snohomish, Marysville, Arlington, and east of Bellingham. To the south, the Cherry Valley and the town of Carnation will also come under quarantine
Traditionally, mankind has been a poor steward of protecting the fragile eco-system in which he inhabits. Where once stood handsome forests and watersheds, gives way to residential and commercial developments chocked with roads and gridlock.
For sure, there are wealthy individuals that have the means to occupy and maintain acres of property. Many others live sandwiched on streets with little or no parking. Then there are the "village people" that live in apartment complexes, stacked one upon the other. Historically, the sprawl continues until every inch of land is consumed.
A prime example is the city of Los Angeles. One hundred and fifty years ago, the city was the toast of the West Coast. Today, the city is a plethora of pollution, violence and crime. Outside the city limits it's just as bad. A region of some 20 million people who have expended the water sources of the entire state that now faces a long-term water shortage, a drought.
Imagine no water to flush toilets (100 million flushes per day). Water for bathing, cooking, laundry, yard, etc.
That certainly is not how I wish to live.
But, really, that is just scratching the surface (so to speak). Let's not ignore the rest of the infrastructure. Electrical lines, roads, schools, sewer treatment plants, garbage depots, land fills, hospitals, churches, and commercial outlets.
Yet, some say that scenario will never happen here.
Well, I live on old farm property in Mill Creek, north of Lynnwood and south of Everett. Down the street are the remnants of a large lake, once a mile long by 1/2 mile wide, and a depth of 50 feet. As man encroached, the watershed began to disappear. Today the lake is a puddle, surrounded by condos and commercial buildings, with more on the way.
Over the past 10 years, the congestion of traffic has tripled making it now a commute to travel just about anywhere.
And, all this happened under the auspicious of the 1990 Growth Management Act.
So there it is in a nutshell.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This is one of a series of commentaries from candidates in the Aug. 5 primary election. Mike the Mover, National Union, is a candidate for U.S. Representative for the 1st Congressional District. The top two vote getters in the primary will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. The 1st District includes nearly all of Whatcom County outside Bellingham, plus portions of King, Snohomish and Skagit counties.