Sequim's growth tops in county

It might not sound like a lot but Sequim's 1.8-percent growth rate during the past year tops Clallam County communities.

The 2009 population estimate, prepared annually by the state Office of Financial Management, places Washington's population at 6.67 million as of April 1, 2009.

That represents growth of 80,600, or 1.2 percent, over 2008 - down from a 1.9 percent growth rage in 2006.

As for Sequim, City Councilor Ken Hays, one of a quartet elected in 2007 on a "controlled growth" platform, said the small population increase didn't surprise him.

"Sequim always has enjoyed a fairly reasonable rate of growth," he said.

"That's the problem with encouraging rapid growth, because it balances itself out. That 1.8 percent is balancing out the 5- to 6-percent growth that we experienced for years."

City Councilor Paul McHugh also was not surprised by Sequim's latest growth figures.

"It doesn't surprise me that we would experience that growth more than Port Angeles or the county.

"It goes to show that the city reacted to development in a way that allowed a modest level of growth. I'm pleased with that result.

"Without some growth, it's hard to meet the community's needs. It's easier with minor or moderate growth because the demands on government don't ever seem to lessen."

Sequim's 5,715 residents make it the 108th largest statewide population, just ahead of Yelm's 5,625.

Yet the city has climbed only one rung in the statewide, ranking despite growing 31.8 percent since 2000.

Since 2000, Sequim's estimated population has grown by 1,381 - 4,334 to 5,715 or 31.8 percent.

Sequim crossed its biggest threshold in 2006, when the population surpassed 5,000 and made it a city, not just a town, in terms of state programs such as transportation grants.

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@

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