After Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy vetoed the comprehensive plan passed by the County Council on June 30, 2015, Councilmember Rick Talbert (5th District) issued the following statement regarding two amendments cited as the primary reason for the veto:
“The overall plan is a good one. That’s why I – along with the other six members of the Council – voted for it. But several of us were opposed to the Frederickson and Merriman amendments that prompted Executive McCarthy to veto the measure. It was unfortunate to see partisan politics win out over common sense in those cases.
“The reasoning behind our opposition to the Merriman amendment, which would reclassify 5.2 acres of rural separator land to an urban designation, is that the issue has already been before the hearings board once before and lost. Nothing has changed since then, and to force taxpayers to again devote financial resources to this matter makes absolutely no sense.
“Regarding the Frederickson amendment, we felt that allowing big-box retail development in the mostly industrial area east of Spanaway would have a huge potential negative impact. Taxpayers have already spent more than $20 million to create a freight corridor through Frederickson and much of the rest of that will be paid for with grants. The amendment also sets a dangerous precedent, opening the possibility for more than just this parcel to develop into big box retail. Inviting this type of retail to develop there will create an architecture of urban sprawl clogging up the corridor.
“Additionally, Frederickson is already designated as a Manufacturing and Industrial Center under the county’s Vision 2040 plan. Changes to that may cause the Puget Sound Regional Council to reconsider Frederickson’s MIC designation, deterring manufacturing investors and employers and potentially threatening future grants to complete the corridor.
“I’m glad the executive is returning the plan to us so we can tighten up those loose ends and pass an even better package, ensuring the county’s future will be the best we can make it.”
Rick Talbert, Pierce County Council
Erich R. Ebel, Pierce County Communications