Advocacy at Work in Pierce County
Futurewise recently participated in an update to some of Pierce County’s development regulations. These changes where made in part to consolidate the county’s development regulations making them easer to use - a goal that Futurewise supports.
Unfortunately some the amendments would have weakened protection for the county’s rural character and water quality. Futurewise advocated for retaining the county’s forested buffers along rural highways, better protecting homes near the road and maintaining the county’s forested views. These provisions were restored by the County Council. County staff had also recommended repealing the county’s standards for maintaining forests and limiting paving in most of the county. This would have harmed the county’s streams, rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound.
Scientific studies done in the Puget Sound basin clearly document that maintaining trees and native vegetation and limiting paving is needed to protect Puget Sound and its tributary streams, rivers, and lakes. Again, Futurewise staff worked with county staff, the Planning Commission, and the County Council to maintain these standards in much of rural Pierce County. Hundreds of miles of rivers and streams and Puget Sound shorelines are now better protected because of these actions.