The Spokane City Council’s initiative to restrict the extension of water and sewer services outside the city limits is about providing urban services only to areas that have been designated as urban according to law and the Growth Management Act, nothing more.
Washington’s Growth Management Hearings Board in November determined the Spokane County commissioners’ action to expand the urban growth area is “invalid it its entirety,” i.e., unlawful, and in conflict with the county’s own public participation procedures.
Contrary to headlines and articles in The Spokesman-Review, this is not about sprawl per se; it’s about respect for the law.
Spokane Mayor David Condon and the members of the county commission on March 31 signed a declaration to jointly consider “smart and sustainable growth that benefits both jurisdictions,” and publish a joint growth agreement by October.
So, this fall we must recall the central aim of our state’s growth management laws is the accommodation of 20 years of population growth. And we must be asking: Is population growth being focused within the cities that provide urban services, or is a disproportionate amount of population growth allocated outside the cities whose tax receipts and fees fund services presumably for their own residents and businesses?