Proposed development would only worsen water problems

Editor,

What’s wrong with this picture?

In the Sept. 2 issue of the Whidbey News-Times, there is a half-page ad from Wright’s Crossing for an “informational” meeting at which a proposal for a development of 1,500 houses on farm land south of Oak Harbor is to be presented.

Just a page or two further there is a short article titled “City calls for voluntary water conservation,” asking people to use less water because the city’s source, the Skagit River, is running low.

What do you suppose might be the effect on the city’s water supply of having to serve another 1,500 households?

While the project proponents include a traffic engineer, the developers’ response to the application form question about impacts on traffic is “unknown at this time.” I suspect anybody who drives into Oak Harbor from the south and gets stuck at the Swantown stop light can predict pretty well what we might expect.

The prediction in their environmental checklist is for an additional 9,600 – 14,400 trips each day.

Right now, that land is growing corn. It is part of a working farm. Island County claims to want to protect its agriculture. Paving 60 percent of 250 acres will do little to benefit agriculture and a whole lot to prevent rainwater from recharging the aquifer.

Oak Harbor and the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce are putting a lot of pressure on the county to process this application.

If you think this is not a great idea, please contact the county commissioners at bicc@co.island.wa.us and the planning commission at planningcommission@co.island.wa.us.

For all the gory details, go to www.island countywa.gov/Planning/Pages/docket.aspx

Marianne Edain

Langley

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