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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Task force proposed to evaluate siting of schools in rural areas of King County

Summary

A task force to evaluate the siting of schools in the rural areas of King County has been proposed for consideration by the Growth Management Planning Council (GMPC), a countywide planning body that has been working to update the set of growth policies that governs jurisdictions in King County.

Story

A task force to evaluate the siting of schools in the rural areas of King County has been proposed for consideration by the Growth Management Planning Council (GMPC), a countywide planning body that has been working to update the set of growth policies that governs jurisdictions in King County.

The School Siting Task Force would bring together officials from school districts, cities, public health and the county to review rural properties currently owned by school districts and make recommendations for siting schools that are in the best interests of children and taxpayers and that are in compliance with the state Growth Management Act.

"As a lifelong supporter of public education and an advocate for growth management, I believe we can better align city, county and education planning. We need to support each other's work to create successful schools and healthy communities that promote family involvement," said King County Executive Dow Constantine, who chairs the GMPC. "I got a great education at my neighborhood public school, and central to that experience was a community that revolved around its local schools. I want to thank Kirkland City Councilmember Bob Sternoff for his leadership in promoting a broader conversation about school siting and educational excellence."

"This is a great example of a new cooperative approach between cities, counties and school districts," said Kirkland City Councilmember Bob Sternoff, who serves on the GMPC as the caucus chair for the Suburban Cities Association. "It is a model for how we can solve problems in the future and make King County a better place to live."

The proposed task force stems from an agreement between King County, Seattle, Bellevue, and the Suburban Cities Association to examine the question of whether sewer lines should continue to be extended into rural areas to accommodate schools that planned for the future by purchasing rural property.

The task force would report its findings to Executive Constantine in February, 2012.

Creation of the task force would come with potential adoption today of the King County Countywide Planning Policies, a framework for local comprehensive land use plans under the state Growth Management Act.

The GMPC is set to take action on the first comprehensive update of the Countywide Planning Policies since they were adopted in 1992. The update brings the Countywide Planning Policies into compliance with the four-county VISION 2040 plan, which:

  • Promotes coordination and collaboration among jurisdictions,
  • Calls for the setting of a countywide greenhouse gas reduction target,
  • Integrates public health with land use and transportation by calling for vibrant urban communities with a variety of nearby services and facilities, and
  • Fosters social equity and environmental justice by calling on jurisdictions to identify and mitigate any unavoidable negative impacts of public actions that disproportionately affect people of color and low-income populations.


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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