Pierce County will discuss future of open space Nov. 15

The Pierce County Council wants to hear about how it should protect farmland and open space during a town-hall meeting next Thurs., Nov. 15, in Tacoma.
County Councilmembers Tim Farrell (District 4) and Calvin Goings (District 2) will host the forum at 6:30 p.m. at the Snake Lake Nature Center, 1919 S. Tyler St. Public feedback is needed to help identify worthwhile open spaces and critical habitat ideal for preservation.
“Our urban open spaces are disappearing as we speak,” Farrell said. “The Snake Lake Nature Center is a fitting site for our town-hall meeting because it was one of Tacoma’s last open spaces and stands today as a triumph of public conservation.”
“Losing farmland at a rate of 900 acres a year in this county is simply unacceptable,” Goings said. “We must reverse this trend so that our rich agricultural heritage will still be here for future generations.”
The council is considering a proposal that would preserve open space by allowing the county to purchase the development rights to two types of land over the next two decades — rural farmland and urban open space. In rural areas, county funds could be used to purchase the development rights to farmland to ensure it is not converted to non-farm uses; in urban settings, the county could acquire creek ravines and other open parcels that are in danger of being developed.
Both Farrell and Goings represent portions of Tacoma; Farrell’s District 4 includes north and central Tacoma (including the downtown corridor and Hilltop areas) and Goings’ District 2 takes in northeast and east Tacoma including the tideflats.