New discussions of Douglas growth a good sign

We're pleased that negotiations have begun to settle one of the most contentious issues Douglas County has faced over the past three decades: Growth.

The discussions are at an early stage, and it is easy to become overly encouraged by what could turn out to be a long process.

But at least the issue is on a table that doesn't involve the courts.

Representatives from the growth committee and the building industry have been talking, and that's a good sign.

While brought to a head by the state Supreme Court's ruling on the Sustainable Growth Initiative, discussions won't necessarily affect the course of the lawsuit presently winding its way through the courts.

If nothing comes of these talks, the court case will continue. If a deal is struck that establishes a growth control in the master plan, the court case becomes moot.

Growth is not a new issue in Douglas County, and it affects each of us every day in different ways, both good and bad.

There were fewer than 7,000 people living in Douglas County in 1970. According to figures recently released by the state demographer, the population hit 50,108 in 2005.

Dealing with a sevenfold increase in population would be a challenge for any government. Many of the issues we're dealing with today - from increased traffic to the need for more law enforcement to where we will draw our drinking water from in the future - stems from growth.

We hope discussions will be fruitful and will go a long way toward determining a growth rate we all can live with.

- From The Record Courier


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