Continuing our housing series with a dash of sprawl containment, farmland preservation, racial equity and environmental impact (not to mention crawdad fishing in Elk!), this week we talk with Kitty Klitzke, Spokane Program Director for Futurewise, an organization that works throughout Washington state to encourage healthy, equitable and opportunity-rich communities, and to protect our most valuable farmlands, forests and water resources through wise land use policies and practices.
We talked about the WA Can’t Wait campaign, supporting three new state bills that update the long-in-the-tooth Growth Management Act. The GMA, which was passed in 1990 and has been a core tool for communities statewide to curb sprawl, has concrete loopholes in need of closing and also needs some additional protections for racial equity and environmental impact not included in the original legislation. It’s additive work but essential if we want to put stronger controls on land use to ensure we build dense, vibrant urban clusters while preserving our wild spaces and farmland.
Because of the political dynamics of Spokane County, it’s been a historically vital piece of legislation and the bills currently before the legislature in Washington will close a loophole that has been especially destructive to native habitat and generational farmland on places like Five Mile and the Moran Prairie.
Plus, Kitty is just fun as hell to talk to.
We can almost guarantee it’s the most fun you’ll ever have talking about progressive land use policy.