In the next 100 years, our population will double, growing to more than 10 million people. Where we will live, how we will get to work and what our neighborhoods will look like will be critical issues. If our urban communities don't satisfy our needs, our natural landscapes, farms and working forests will be overtaken by sprawl. We will jeopardize the vibrancy that makes our region a great place to live, work and raise our families.
Our rural lands are at risk
Policies guiding growth in rural, agricultural, and forest resource zoned lands encourage single-family home construction on large (5-80 acre) lots. This pattern of growth leads to unfavorable conditions including the removal of large areas of agricultural and forestry land, an increase in traffic congestion and more.
Working forest and farmlands are being converted to other uses
More than 18,000 acres of our state’s forests and farms are converted to development each year. Over the region, 3-5% of the annual growth is occurring in the rural, agricultural and forestry zoned lands. At this rate of conversion, the 400,000 acres of rural agricultural zoned lands in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties will be entirely developed by the end of the century.
The current pattern of growth is costly
We cannot afford sprawl: A national study indicates that sprawling residential development costs $13,000 more per unit than compact development.
Population pressures will continue
In order to alleviate the devastating effects of a growing population’s sprawl, we need to live in compact, urban settings. We need to continue making our cities the great, livable communities that attract people from all walks of life. It is the heart of our Cascade and Olympic Agendas. Forterra is working with communities around the region to educate residents and leaders, implement smart-growth policies, create infrastructure-financing options and more to help move us towards our collective vision of a great region that sustains people, the economy and the environment alike.