Today was the second meeting of the Task Force focused on sighting schools outside the urban growth area. This is important for us becasue the only piece of land that we have for building a new school is adjacent to our Junior High which is outside the UGA. A proposed amendment to the county's Growth Management Plan would have precluded any new schools or additions to existing schools in these areas. Because districts in the county already have schools outside the line and have purchased properties for future schools there were many people opposed to the change. A decision was made to form the task force that met today to review the situation and make recommendations to the county executive.
In today's meeting we focused on creating an understanding of the 17 sites in the county and the plans that districts have for them. We then met in small groups to brainstorm how best to deal with sites that are adjacent to the urban growth line or have sewer hook ups on the sites and the same for those with no sewer on the site and not adjacent to the line. It became clear to me in the small group that those representing schools, cities, and the rural areas all see how a site such as ours is what one person called a "no brainer" for building. Peter Rimbos, a member of the Greater Maple Valley Area Council and a supporter of protecting the rural area shared how he feels when he asked why we even need to be involved in the process. Given our circumstances, we just might be the poster child for allowing a site outside the line. Thanks to Peter for his vocal support.
Though no decisions have been made, these conversations lead me to believe that this diverse group is committed to reviewing each situation individually and that we will be able to reach consensus on recommendations to the county executive.