Dr. Robert Gibb presents this guest aticle.
I write as President of the Chuckanut Mountains Park District Advisory Committee. The so-called Greenway endowment fund was proposed by the Beyond Greenway II proponents to accommodate fiscal situations such as occurred when the City Council was considering the purchase of the Chuckanut Ridge property. I was one of those proponents and it was suggested that the fund be developed over a period of years from 10% of the annual budget. Why does it have to be suddenly repaid?
The stimulus for the proposed Park District is because the current administration and others, have been proposing the sale of 25 acres of the 100 Acre Woods to replace the 3.2 million taken from that fund. Best Available Science and the State Department of Ecology will require 300 foot buffers around the Class I wetlands that are the vital, precious component of that property. Those buffers will allow only 12 acres for development. That acreage will be required for limited public access to the property. Infrastructure costs and topographical restrictions make any housing development prohibitively expensive, even if funded with public funding support as occurs with housing developments.
In the history of Municipal Park Districts, none have exercised Eminent Domain or increased property taxes to the 75 cents per $1000 permitted. Any MPD Commissioner suggesting such is committing political suicide.
The proposed Park District is the means of settling this 25 year old problem of preserving this ecological treasure and should be supported.