Key Peninsula News Cites Earth Economics Research in Article About Growth in Rural Pierce County

Earth Economics’ research is cited in a recent article in the Key Peninsula News that explores how much residential growth could come to the rural Key Peninsula west of Tacoma, Wash., in coming decades. The article, “The Cost of Growth on the Key Peninsula,” explains that the state’s Growth Management Act discourages sprawl and directs development to urban growth areas thatare designated for eventual annexation by cities and towns. Local zoning policies that require open space preservation on residential parcels, as well as natural features such as wetlands and steep slopes, also limit how many new homes could be built amid the isolated peninsula, which has just a few unincorporated communities, called census-designated places. 

Citing Earth Economics’ recent report, “The Costs of Sprawl: The Potential Impacts of Development in Pierce County, Washington,” the article explains that extending roads, sewer lines and other services to rural areas is three times more costly than providing such services in urban growth areas. The article also notes the report’s conclusion that converting rural green spaces to housing would result in the loss of ecosystem services that provide quantifiable value to rural communities. Taken together, the report’s findings support preserving the rural nature of the Key Peninsula, Pierce County Councilman Derek Young (D-Gig Harbor) contended in the article.


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