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Appeal filed by watchdog group

Dennis Box, The Courier-Herald

A line in the sand has been drawn by 1000 Friends of Washington, the group opposing Bonney Lake's plan to add 496 acres to its Urban Growth Area (UGA).

The Pierce County Council on Nov. 18, 2003 voted unanimously to allow the acreage to be moved into the city's UGA and eventually annexed.

The urban growth watchdog group 1000 Friends has filed an appeal with the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board.

"The Growth Management Act says you need to take a look at physical attributes of the area to see if it is suited to urban development," said Tim Trohimovich, planning director for 1000 Friends. "We think this area is not fit for urban development at all."

Bonney Lake filed a motion April 2 to support the record with the Hearings Board.

"This motion explains what the city thinks the populations and growth is going to be," Deputy City Attorney Jeff Ganson said. "We are updating the projections. The board will rule whether to use those projections."

Opening briefs in the case will be filed by May 14.

"That's the big deal part, where people like us make our case that it has violated the Growth Management Act," Trohimovich said.

Oral arguments in the case will take place at 9:30 a.m. June 17 at Sumner City Hall. The hearing is open to the public.

While the UGA appeal makes its way through the Hearings Board process, the Fennel Creek Corridor Advisory Committee continues to meet and move ahead.

The Committee was established by the Pierce County Council and the members were selected by County Councilman Shawn Bunney.

The stated agenda of the committee is to evaluated the Fennel Creek Corridor, which is at the heart of the appeal, and advise the Council on densities, zoning and environmental protection measures.

Trohimovich noted his group feels strongly about the Fennel Creek area and halting urban sprawl.

"But we are certainly willing to talk to people," Trohimovich said. "Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't."

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com

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