Re: “Ranch owner fights Thurston zoning change” (TNT, 12-10).
I read with a mixture of confusion and frustration the story of the Thurston County ranch and its zoning change. I wondered what the writer wanted to accomplish and why this particular landowner merited so much ink and sympathy.
It’s too easy to pick apart the reporting of this particular story as I experienced it. It reads like a conversation between disgruntled neighbors rather than a balanced article explaining the evolution of land-use policy and its impacts on individuals. Working Lands, as Thurston county calls them, are still threatened.
In half an hour of searching I had seven tabs open including Thurston County’s “Working Lands Strategic Plan” and the APA’s “Policy Guide on Agricultural Land Preservation,” both of which explain the rationale and the changing conditions that made more restrictive zoning necessary. I also found the Thurston County Planning Department web page dealing with their Transfer of Development Rights Program, which “provides an opportunity for working-land owners to sell their development rights without having to sell their entire property for development” in order to preserve farmland.
My question for the editorial board and reporter John Dodge is simply this: What was I, the reader, intended to take away from this story? Every item in the paper has an intended purpose, does it not? Some merely hope to entertain, but others seek to impel readers to action. I’m mystified, however, by this story. What would you have me do?