On Monday, February 12 (2nd Monday this month, due to room scheduling conflict), the Area Council held its monthly meeting. The major topic discussed was the draft Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan now available for Public Comment. Additional topics discussed were: The Regional Transportation Plan and VISION 2050.
The Area Council welcomed the following new members who were sworn in and took their seats: LarKen Buchanan, Luke Hansen, Celia Parker, and Paul Schultz. This brings the Area Council to 14 members just short of its full 16-member complement. Two additional members are sought. The Area Council again thanks all those who have volunteered to serve.
Solid Waste Management Plan Update
Pat McLaughlin, from King County’s Solid Waste Division (SWD), discussed the draft Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan (Update), which outlines goals, policies, and recommended actions to manage waste and recyclables to help protect human health and the environment.
The Update provides direction for King County and 37 of 39 cities (Seattle and Milton have separate systems) and recommends innovative programs to prevent, recycle, and dispose of waste in ways that will protect the environment. King County seeks to “Waste no Resources.”
Some topics addressed in the Update: (1) Goal to recycle 70% of waste stream (currently recycle 52%)—what actions should we take to reach a 70% goal?; (2) What are the most important services that should be provided at King County’s garbage and recycling transfer facilities?; and (3) How should King County dispose of its garbage over the long term?
The Update includes policies, recommendations, and goals for: solid waste system planning; waste prevention, recycling, and solid waste collection; solid waste transfer and processing system; landfill management and solid waste disposal; and solid waste system finance. Accompanying the Update is a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which evaluates potential environmental impacts of options.
There are at least two issues of importance to local residents are: (1) Possible policy changes such as instituting mandatory recycling, a new 70% recycling goal, and new construction and demolition debris recycling and disposal policies and (2) Extending the life of Cedar Hills Regional Landfill (expected to be full by 2028) by optimizing development of the site for landfilling.
Public Comment is being sought, between January 8 and March 8, on both the Update and the draft EIS to help inform decisions that will guide how garbage and recycling is managed over the next 6 years, with consideration of the next 20 years. Visit www.kingcounty.gov/solid-waste-comp-plan to review the Update and EIS.
(3) Mail written comments to: King County Solid Waste Division Attn: Draft Solid Waste Plan Comments, 201 S. Jackson St., Suite 701, Seattle, WA 98104-3855.
Regional Transportation Plan
The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), the State-authorized four-county regional planning organization recently drafted a major update to Transportation 2040 called the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). The RTP offers transportation solutions as the region’s population swells to ~5 million people.
Several years ago the Area Council founded the Joint Transportation Initiative (JTI), to bring together the four Rural Area Unincorporated Area Councils (UACs)—GMVUAC, Four Creeks UAC (FCUAC), Upper Bear Creek UAC (UBCUAC), and Green Valley/Lake Holm Association (GV/LHA)—to act as one voice on transportation issues, which often are regional in scope and impact.
The JTI reviewed and prepared detailed comments on the RTP, which were approved by all four Rural Area UACs and submitted in late January to the PSRC for consideration—please see the Area Council’s web site www.gmvuac.org under “Current Issues.”
The JTI, using a Rural Area lens, cited two major items to be addressed to ensure a sustainable transportation system, while meeting the State’s Growth Management Act vision to continue to preserve rural lands and rural character (“Keep the Rural Area Rural”): (1) Develop methodology to promote “regional transportation concurrency” to eliminate the “silo” mentality of individual jurisdictions and (2) Find “equitable funding mechanisms” to maintain rural transportation infrastructure increasingly being used by urban commuters traveling between cities.
The PSRC is updating VISION 2040, which helps coordinate state and regional initiatives and support local decisions to help fulfill the goals of the State’s Growth Management Act.
VISION 2050 seeks to address persistent significant issues including the climbing cost of housing and ever-increasing traffic congestion. It will identify the challenges we face as the region prepares to add ~1.8 million more people by 2050.
This will be a multi-year project, which begins with a Scoping Statement for which the PSRC seeks Public Comment through March 19. The Area Council’s four major subject-matter committees—Economic Development, Environment, Growth Management, and Transportation—currently are reviewing the Scoping Statement and preparing Public Comment. Please see the Area Council’s web site www.gmvuac.org under “Current Issues” for additional information
Next Area Council Monthly Meeting—Monday, March 5, from 7 – 9:30 PM, at the Fire Station located at the SE corner of SE 231st St & SR-169 intersection across from the Police Precinct. All members of the Public are welcome. Each meeting begins with an open Public Comment period.
Your Area Council serves as an all-volunteer, locally elected advisory body to King County on behalf of all rural unincorporated area residents living in the Tahoma School District. For more information, please visit: www.gmvuac.org.