Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, June 01, 2007

"Moscow continues to seek control of corridor growth"

Gordon Forgey had another excellent editorial on Moscow in yesterday's edition of the Whitman County Gazette. The momentum is building!! County Planner Mark Bordsen had a very lengthy letter to the Water Conservancy Board published in the Gazette also that is the DEFINITIVE history of the corridor debate. I will be posting that letter.
The interference of Moscow, Idaho, with the rest of the Palouse is becoming better known, and the city's effort to have a say in develpoment in Whitman County, particularly along the Pullman/Moscow corridor, has continued and taken new turns.

It is important that Whitman County officials get along with those in Moscow and Latah County. The voluntarily share some jurisdictions and cooperate in many areas.

Still, during Moscow's growth cycle, no consultation was made with Whitman County on how the city's expansion might affect those across the state line in Washington. Moscow had the attitude that all was fair game and pursued growth independently and without regard to its neighbors.

In fact, the growth was without regard to much of anything. The results of that attitude can be seen throughout the city where expansion ruled over planning. That attitude can also be seen in the charges Moscow faces of serious Clean Water Act violations from the Environmental Protection Agency.

For a long time, Moscow has sucked up all the air, leaving Whitman County behind. Now, Whitman County has increasing prospects for economic growth. A natural location for such growth is along the Pullman/Moscow corridor, which lies between the area's two population centers. County officials have worked long on making sure the corridor was ready for controlled, sensible growth and development.

Moscow, in the simplest of terms, is trying to stifle that growth and development.

What Moscow lacks in the situation is legitimacy. To gain some, a group at the University of Idaho conducted the "great" corridor debate. No representatives from Whitman County were involved. Recently, the university sent a water survey to some Whitman County residents. Opponents of Moscow's efforts to control Whitman County's development saw the survey as an effort to give Moscow more of an entry into the debate, despite its growing use of water for its own purposes.

The confrontations are bound to continue. Although Moscow may claim Whitman County development along the corridor is ill conceived in any number of ways, the underlying concern is that the corridor may replace Moscow are a retailing center and cots it jobs, tax revenues and growth potential.

1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

My opinion is that if Moscow didn't want to be so near Whitman County, they shouldn't have built so near the state line. It's not up to us to provide the buffer for the stinky money making commercial development that is infuriating Moscow's elected mayor.

Or as someone else put it, why is the only part of the Palouse worth saving on the Washington side of the corridor?