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Stop Sprawl
Fall 2000 Sprawl Report

States at a Glance: Washington

Thornton Creek
Housing Project Will Restore Creek
Blakely Ridge and Redmond Ridge Projects
Huge Development Trashes Growth Limit

Thornton Creek
Housing Project Will Restore Creek

The residents of Seattle are hoping to make an urban redevelopment site even better. With a few tweaks, the Thornton Creek project -- which combines shopping, job opportunities and living space -- could become an exciting model for other smart-growth developers.

The development plans call for building new housing adjacent to an existing mall, which will be renovated. A library and community center are also planned. When built, the project will provide people with access to jobs and shops without having to drive. In addition, light rail is slated to be built in the near future, giving residents easy pedestrian access to transit.

If carried out as the local community proposes, Thornton Creek could benefit the environment and local residents. Under the community plan, the city of Seattle would have the chance to restore a creek currently buried under a parking lot and reconnect it with local wetlands. In addition to providing a large parcel of open space, the restoration of the creek would aid a struggling population of endangered salmon.

Blakely Ridge and Redmond Ridge Projects
Huge Development Trashes Growth Limit

What do timber companies do with land that they've logged? In an unincorporated portion of King County near Redmond, they're trying to turn it into a 4-square-mile development. But current residents argue that Washington State's urban-growth law protects the area from the massive project envisioned by the developers.

Residents of this largely rural area started questioning county land-use decisions after the size of the proposed development was revealed. Quadrant, a Weyerhauser subsidiary, is pushing to build 3,950 homes on 2,000 acres outside of King County's urban-growth limit. Those who live nearby are worried about the project's impacts on local roads, and fear this development will encourage more suburban sprawl in the area.

After winning a recent battle in which the court ruled that classification of the land must be better justified, opponents of the project hope to eventually put an end to such poorly planned development.

States at a Glance | Introduction | Resources | Acknowledgments

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