Letters to the Editor

Your views in 250 words or less

Tag: orton junction

Aug.
13th

COUNTY: Call a halt to Orton Junction plan

Pierce County should immediately drop its support of the disastrous Orton Junction project. This project would expand the urban growth area of Sumner into rural farmland.

Orton Junction is an illegal proposed development of commercial and residential properties in the Puyallup Valley to the south of state Route 410. The project would permanently destroy 182 acres of prime farmland in the Puyallup Valley.

The state’s Growth Management Hearings Board has decided that Sumner has failed to demonstrate why prime farmland should be destroyed for the Orton Junction project (TNT, 8-8). Sumner also lacks the population for commercial and residential

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Oct.
31st

SUMNER: Orton Junction farmland loss unjustified

Re: “County OKs Sumner land move for Orton Junction” (TNT, 10-26).

Too many children in this county are hungry and are in poor health from a lack of available, affordable, nutritious food. This is outrageous. Why is this OK in our county? What we really need are leaders who look out over the county and say, “We have too many hungry people here. Let’s find a way to fix that.”

I am shocked at those who feel this irreplaceable loss is justified. Those making a good income just sigh at the extreme cost of imported food, while the poor

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Oct.
31st

SUMNER: Surreal vote portrayed as pro-farm

With a 7-0 vote on the Orton Junction proposal (TNT, 10-25), the County Council continued its systematic dismantling of the farming landscape and community of Pierce County.

In a hearing that lacked only the element of surprise, the council members listened intently to impassioned pleas both for and against the project before professing, one by one, that the decision was so difficult but ultimately they were in favor of the proposal to turn 180 acres of prime farmland into yet another shopping mall and subdivision.

In a truly surreal turn, several members suggested that the expansion of Sumner onto

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Oct.
13th

SUMNER: Get real about farming jobs

Re: Orton Junction.

How exactly is opposing Orton Junction going to save farmland? That same land can become housing developments today under its current “agriculture” zoning.

Buying conservation easements and transferring development rights is the only way to save farmland. The Orton Junction proposal does just that, using the developer’s money, not tax dollars, to buy development rights and permanently preserve hundreds of acres of farmland. Plus, it helps make farmland profitable again.

We do not need more rural sprawl housing. We need people working. We need people farming and selling, serving and healing. Orton Junction makes that happen. It

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Oct.
13th

SUMNER: Respect growth management law

Re: “Sumner land plan reborn” (TNT, 10-4).

I have watched the Orton Junction situation develop in Sumner with interest. The Pierce County Planning Commission did not support this development because it is in direct violation of the law.

The Growth Management Act was designed to protect our farmland and discourage suburban sprawl. Strip malls run from coast to coast, and most of them are empty these days.

Our economy is changing and, long after we finally recover, certain segments of our lives will have changed. Building more “junctions” or outlet malls is old business. Last quarter, Amazon reported an

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Oct.
10th

SUMNER: Where has all the farmland gone?

A film called “The Green River Valley” was produced to question the building of Southcenter on what was then rich soil. Something a Native American said stuck with me. He said, “I can’t understand why they are hauling gravel from the hills to fill up the valley.” Some once great soil now sits under the mall at Southcenter.

A variety of crops were historically grown where Orton Junction is. For the last 50 years, it has been principally daffodils, whose flowers and bulbs are shipped all over. Sumner once called itself “The Daffodil Capital of the World”; it is a

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Oct.
7th

SUMNER: Let market create needed jobs

I’m grateful that the Pierce County Community Development Committee has shown leadership in moving Orton Junction forward. I heard opponents of this project suggest that future jobs should be created in the green sector at the same time that The News Tribune reported that $500 million of our tax money was spent to employ 8,000 people in green jobs.

It’s time to get government out of the business of trying to employ people. The Pierce County Council is wise to allow the market to drive jobs where they’re actually needed rather than using tax dollars to fund special interest dreams

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Oct.
5th

SUMNER: Infrastructure upgrades needed to accommodate expansion

The Orton Junction expansion idea has no business even being considered until adjustments are made to the overpasses at the Valley Avenue/Orting Highway and Tapps Highway/Wahle Road freeway exits in Sumner.

Those roads are only one lane each way and during peak times back up significantly. Can you imagine the chaos of a couple more thousand people and vehicles on those roads? I understand the benefits of a local YMCA, but until those infrastructure changes are made, we should not even consider expansion.