Growth Management Coalition grills commissioner

"Mike Shelton walked into the lions' den Monday and walked away unscathed -- physically, at least.South Whidbey's county commissioner met with the Growth Management Coalition, the umbrella group for a number of South Whidbey environmental organizations. If Shelton was looking around the Trinity Lutheran Church room for some Republican supporters, he didn't find any.Although polite, the coalition members expressed serious concerns about two issues particularly: Shelton's announcement this week that Glendale Road would be rebuilt as a two-lane road, and the county's roadside herbicide spraying program that is now under way.On the spray issue, Theresa Marie Gandhi accused the county of contributing to the death of the chinook, referring to the endangered chinook salmon species. We have to take responsibility for our sole-source aquifer, she added.Shelton reiterated previous statements that the county is studying no-spray alternatives and is careful about where it sprays, but he made no promises to halt spraying.Shelton added that individual property owners likely buy more herbicides than the county does. To which Jenny Grisely responded, The county would be a really good role model for Joe Citizen, if it quit spraying.Dean Enell questioned Shelton about the Glendale Road decision, saying that almost all area residents favored an option that included a partial one-way road to better protect Glendale Creek.Don't you find that troubling? he asked.Shelton responded that fish in the creek will be adequately protected with the two-lane design, which has cost the county approximately $1 million. A one-way road makes no sense from the traveling public's perspective, he said. He disagreed with Enell that nobody wants a two-lane road. That's not true, he said. He also emphasized the uncertain future of slide-prone Humphrey Road which is the only other way out of the Glendale community.Shelton found some common ground with coalition members, particularly on the need to better enforce conditions attached to logging such as the requirement to replant harvested land with new trees. "

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