The headline “Growth vs. Sound’s Health” (The Olympian, April 30, 2006) speaks volumes about the problem of growth management. There is no growth – no long-term, sustainable growth – without a healthy Puget Sound. I add to that list healthy groundwater supplies and rural habitat.
I realize the value of my property only exists in my ability to some day find a buyer for it. If I allow development that will despoil groundwater, remove animal habitat or pollute the sound so severely as to kill off most aquatic life, the value of my property will decline. We will have killed the goose that laid the golden egg; the very things that attracted us to this spot will be gone.
Like many of The Olympian’s readers, my property is my home. It’s where my family and I live, and not merely a parcel I own from afar and from which I will some day log every stick of lumber and sell off for development of high-density housing.
The pro-development position of politicians such as Kevin O’Sullivan and the overheated rhetoric of the farm bureau and Olympia Master Builders lack any vision for a future beyond the next election cycle or the next year’s profit margins.
Unsustainable growth is easy. Sustainable growth is the more intelligent approach. If it really does come down to “Growth vs. Sound’s Health,” then we’ve already squandered our property values and it’s just a matter of time before some of us will be left holding the bag with all roads leading out of Thurston County.
Mark Messinger, Olympia
reprinted from The Olympian, May 16, 2006