Success Stories

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Futurewise has established an impressive track record on growth management issues over the past fifteen years as the main source of expertise and support for numerous citizens and groups working to manage growth in their own communities and as the state's primary advocate for smart growth policies.

Over the past several years, Futurewise has achieved important victories throughout the state on many issues. 

Building Healthy, Attractive Communities

  • Futurewise's work has led nine different
    cities to eliminate sprawl zoning and accomodate thousands of additional homes.
  • Futurewise has strengthened protections for environmentally sensitive areas in cities across the state.
  • Futurewise is evaluating and supporting reforms that reduce the barriers to and create incentives for desireable development.
  • Futurewise worked with the City of Bellevue to approve a proposal to add over five hundred units of housing along a key transit corridor.
  • Futurewise negotiated an agreement with the City of Bothell to fix zoning problems that prevented the construction of any affordable housing in Bothell.

Improving Transportation Choices

  • Futurewise convinced the Legislature to approve $750 million in new funding for transportation choices in 2005, including $58 million for a new safe routes to schools program, $50 million for special needs transit and a new Office of Mobility at the Department of Transportation.
  • Futurewise spearheaded the successful effort to defeat I-745 (an initiative that would have diverted Washington's public transit funding into road construction) - Tim Eyman's first electoral defeat.
  • Futurewise defended funding for light rail and other transit investments by defeating legislation aimed at forcing Sound Transit to spend nearly $60 million subsidizing utility companies.
  • Futurewise successfully refocused state level efforts to spend billions of dollars on wasteful freeway expansions into critical safety and maintenance projects.

Saving Open Spaces and Natural Places

  • In Pierce County we tripled the quantity of protected agricultural land to 30,000 acres, expanded buffers for over 1000 miles of streams and preserved over 400 acres of environmentally sensitive land and 300 acres of prime farmland from overdevelopment.
  • In Whatcom County we preserved two highly sensitive pieces of Puget Sound shoreline from urban development (Point Whitehorn and Birch Point), preserved 12,000 acres of rural land from overdevelopment and convinced the County Council to adopt a critical areas ordinance that greatly improves environmental protections.
  • In Walla Walla County we protected more than 770,000 acres of rural land from sprawl development.

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