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The Times is to be commended for addressing one of most important quality-of-life issues facing us today and into the future [“Reject change of King County’s urban-growth boundary,” Opinion, Jan. 3].

The Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council (GMVUAC) has been diligently working for nearly 40 years to “keep the rural area rural.” Since the 1990 passage of the nationally acclaimed Growth Management Act, there has been continual pressure exerted along the urban-growth boundary fringe.

As the editorial rightly states, the quality of life that attracts and helps King County retain so many good, thriving businesses, along with so many well-educated people, is built on the foundation of the Growth Management Act and the integrity of the urban-growth boundary.

Endless sprawl hurts everyone. It reduces our quality of life. It causes the need for endless roads to be built and maintained. It requires further extension of expensive infrastructure, such as sewers and water mains. It requires more schools to be built. Endless sprawl would result in a much larger tax burden on both people and businesses. Who wins? Developers, builders and realtors — the very same people who are exerting pressure on the urban-growth boundary. Who loses? Everyone else.

The fight to keep urban-serving facilities within the urban-growth boundary continues. Clearly, the vast majority of the people on both sides of the urban-growth boundary want to keep urban facilities within urban communities and out of rural areas. The people we serve in the greater Maple Valley area continually implore us to maintain the integrity of the urban-growth boundary.

Finally, we concur with The Times editorial when it states there is plenty of room for population growth within the urban-growth boundary. The Puget Sound Regional Council, along with the King County Countywide Planning Policies and the Comprehensive Plans of King County and its cities, all project and review growth patterns in a methodical way, which is well-documented. We work with King County on its Comprehensive Plan to ensure citizen voices are heard. All of us are very fortunate such thoughtful and well-informed planning is done to ensure a good quality of life for us and our children.

Steve Hiester, Maple Valley
Chair, GMVUAC