Have you heard of the booming metropolis that is Duvall? Yes, this once sleepy Eastside burg — you’d be forgiven for never hearing of it — is metaphorically bursting at the seams. Its population has grown 23 percent in the last decade, a span during which Seattle’s grew 15 percent. And the region’s central planning agency told The Seattle Times that ain’t cool.
The Puget Sound Regional Council serves as the go-between for Central Puget Sound counties, agencies, and the state to develop a comprehensive growth plan. A key component of this plan is that much of the population growth — 73 percent, to be exact — will occur in dense urban areas like Seattle, Bellevue, and Kirkland, while rural areas should grow much more slowly.
There are economic and environmental benefits to this approach. Service-economy jobs are clustered in cities, and employees living where they work reduces traffic congestion and emissions. Furthermore, space will be retained in rural areas for farms and wildlife.
It’s a win-win, unless you want a cheap house or a larger plot of land. The median price of homes for sale in Duvall in May was $550,000; for the greater Eastside, the median was $760,000. Thus, small Eastside towns like Snoqualmie and Carnation are filling up faster than expected with commuters wanting to live a rural lifestyle or who are simply priced out of more centralized cities.
And, by and large, the cities want to grow as they please. “We have a right to grow, a right to revenue to support our city,” Snoqualmie Community Development Director Mark Hofman told the Times.
Much of the development chatter in our area focuses on the skyscrapers in downtown Bellevue and Seattle, but how suburbs and exurbs develop deserves just as much attention. The Puget Sound region is blessed with abundant green space shortly outside the city. If there are not enough urban housing options — or if social mores dictate that people with means want acreage, not a small condo — then that green space will increasingly become private estates and tract housing.
Costco members who previously had an American Express card received their new Citi co-branded Visa cards this week. Or at least they were supposed to.
Some received their cards in time, and everything went smoothly. Others didn’t. Like, 1.5 million others, which is how many people called Citi’s customer service line during the first two days that the cards were to be activated.
Costco and Citi were working to resolve the issues — activation problems, cards not showing up — but, as Costco CFO Richard Galanti said: “When you mail out 12 million of anything, there are some wrong addresses.”
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More evidence Seattle is really, really expensive. I hear Duvall’s cheaper…
Sound Transit 3 will be on the November ballot. Since Renton was left off the light-rail list, this Renton resident will begin lobbying for publicly funded helicopter service. There’s gotta be room in the $54 billion budget for that.