In pursuit of more growth and profit at any cost, Napavine officials and developers have committed an irreversible disservice to their own community.
Having only recently approved the addition of an ARCO truck stop, on top of four truck stops previously developed there, Napavine has now approved yet another huge new truck stop complex at the Rush Road/Interstate 5 interchange.
The latest new 14-acre development is projected to increase traffic by 7,350 vehicles per day, on top of the existing steady flow of thousands of vehicles off I-5 into dangerous uncontrolled intersections at Exit 72. Napavine accepted limited liability companies’ flimsy traffic impact assessments and required minimal mitigation from the developers, inevitably leaving the costs of all this traffic to the taxpayers.
The property rights of neighboring landowners have been completely disregarded, although the truck stops are already increasing crime risks, noise and light pollution.
Napavine’s urban sprawl is contrary to the county’s goal to protect agricultural resource lands; more truck stops are converting more acres of once-productive farmlands to parking lots and businesses selling overpriced snack food.
Millions of dollars of public funding invested in water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and flood mitigation have been disregarded, and Napavine has approved these new truck stops in defiance of longstanding advice from the Emergency Management Division to stop allowing more development in the Newaukum River flood-risk zone.
A ribbon cutting for yet another truck stop at the Rush Road interchange makes a good photo-op, but these developments defy common sense, and there is no cause for celebrating reckless greed.