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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 27, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Rural-home construction

Promoting an un-green lifestyle

“Vision meets reality” [Pacific Northwest magazine, Jan. 25], about the Preston-area home, highlighted the structure’s architectural beauty. But, it also promoted new-home construction in rural areas, which degrades the environment. The home in the article resulted in:

— Using extensive resources to construct almost 5,000 square-feet of livable space;

— Increasing impervious area (home, guesthouse, garage, driveway), which facilitates rainfall runoff and reduces groundwater recharge;

— Removing native vegetation, which eliminates wildlife habitat; and

— Discouraging the presence of certain wildlife species that are sensitive to ecological disturbances such as houses, light, noise and pets.

But, perhaps the most significant impact of this home and many others that are built in rural areas is their dependency on privately-owned vehicles. Typically, many more gallons of gas are spent by rural dwellers because of their long commutes than city dwellers who live closer to work, shopping, and recreational activities.

Please stop glorifying rural living. While living in forested areas can, as reported by the homeowners, “allow you to feel like you’re living in the trees,” it damages our planet. It is a lifestyle you should not continue to extol.

— Josh Kahan, Seattle

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