Property rights advocates are hailing a bill passed overwhelmingly by the Washington State Senate on Tuesday as potentially the first crack in the Growth Management Act dam.
Passed by the Legislature in 1990, the GMA requires state and local governments to manage Washington’s growth by identifying and protecting critical areas and natural resource lands, designating urban growth areas, preparing comprehensive plans and implementing them through capital investments and development regulations. Continue reading
Last Thursday, thanks largely to Senator Pam Roach (R-Auburn), the Washington State Senate provided an opportunity to discuss the Growth Management Act (GMA) in a public work session. Last year,I wrote about a less formal work session held by Representative Dean Takko (D-Longview). However, the recent Senate work session demonstrated notable willingness to look at Washington State’s GMA in a comprehensive manner without constraining the comments of those who testified. The complete video from the hearing is here (starting at about 37 minutes). Continue reading
(original published on 7/9/2013)
All humans need food and water to survive… The State Growth Management Board’s micromanaging will decide who has “rights” to water in Whatcom County… NOT common sense or our elected Whatcom County Council.
The Bellingham Herald has an article here on a “Growth Management Board” decision concerning water rights in Whatcom County.
The Herald’s headline is: “State board tells Whatcom County to impose restrictions on water use”
Does the extremist Special Interest group FUTUREWISE control both sides of this important debate at the state Bureaucracy level? You Decide. Continue reading
BELLINGHAM, WASH. — Conservative property-rights advocates are worried about proposed restrictions on wells they fear could mean the end of the rural way of life in Whatcom County.
The well controversy arose after environmentalists challenged county rules that they believe don’t do enough to protect water resources.
In response, the state Growth Management Hearings Board issued a ruling that could block property owners from drawing water from their wells, if the basin where they live is closed to new water rights. The county has appealed the ruling to the state Court of Appeals. Continue reading
Members of a local citizens group have filed an appeal in Superior Court of recently adopted updates to San Juan County’s Growth Management Act, claiming their aim is to block development entirely rather than address the potential impact of specific projects.
San Juan County, WA – Believing that the San Juan County Growth Management Board failed to address several critical and fatal flaws in its December 2012 Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), both Common Sense Alliance and the Taggares Co. on Wednesday filed petitions for review of the board’s decision in Superior Court.
The court will be asked to stay the Growth Board order to remove the pressure of any compliance deadline.
At issue is whether the CAO was written in such a way as to address the effects of of specific development — as the law requires — or as an obstacle to all development. Continue reading
The Bethel School District, in a rural part of Pierce County, Washington, is governed by five elected school board directors. The district educated about 18,000 students in 2012–2013, a number expected to rise. Five school board members are elected by local citizens. One important job for a school director is to make prudent decisions on how to manage growth. School directors, in cooperation with superintendents and coordination with other local governments, make planning decisions.
The growth projection for Bethel indicates they will need a new high school to accommodate their growing student population. Their school directors examined population trends, bus routes, and locations of other schools. They consulted with other local governments and county planning staff, finally selecting a site and purchasing the vacant land. Continue reading
How many government employees does it take to plant a tree?
April 17, 2013
It sounds like an old joke (the answer starts at five and grows from there), but it is a real question some of us have asked when we see the expansion of “Tree Ordinances” in local jurisdictions in Washington State. The City of Tukwila, for example, is exploring a tree ordinance consisting of many pages of make-work rules to manage every aspect of pruning, planting, protecting, removing, and enjoying trees and landscaping. The question, unanswered, of course, is how did the City of Tukwila become one of the most heavily treed cities (47% according to their “consultant” report) in Washington State without this critical, crucial, crises ordinance process to save our trees from ourselves? This is indeed a mystery nobody in the Tukwila government appears able to solve. However the citizens and elected officials of Tukwila still have the opportunity to avoid the tree ordinance fiasco which the Mercer Island City Council attempted to impose on their citizens (and which was impressively rejected by the residents in 2001). Continue reading
When I was in college, my peers and I would have our makeshift debates in the dorm hallways, arguing about the fundamental problems with Marx and other prophets of the left. We usually came to the conclusion that Marx just didn’t understand the nature of man. Columbia University still required all undergrad students to read a core curriculum of largely western thought at the time. So we studied Marx, John Stuart Mill, The Federalists Papers, Plato, Hobbs, etc. These debates were not unusual then (I hope they still happen today). The influence of the Socialist Utopian view of the world is still with us today, of course, under a variety of different titles and schemes, and they all share the same fatal flaw that dooms Marxism every time: that some “educated elite” or, to quote Plato, mythical “Philosopher Kings” could lead the masses to utopia . Like a chronic disease, we can’t seem to shake these failed concepts regardless of how many times they end in disaster. Continue reading
WA State – Pearl Rains-Hewitt raises the following question: “WHO IS DEAD IN OLYMPIA? OUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES?” She reports the following proposed bills which would help the people of Washington state as “dead on arrival”
Reclassify hydropower as renewable energy.
House Joint Resolution 4200 proposes an amendment to the state Constitution to require hydroelectric generation be recognized as a renewable resource. It would help recapture our state’s competitive advantage of offering abundant, affordable, clean energy for manufacturers and consumers. Did Not Receive a Public Hearing in House Environment Committee
Prioritizing state investments in storm water control.
House Bill 1235 would require the Department of Ecology to prioritize storm water assistance funding to local governments to help them satisfy their storm water permit requirements before funding other storm water-related projects. Public Hearing in House Environment Committee Continue reading
February 9, 2013
Washington state lawmakers on Friday grappled with the question of whether the counties with little history — or prospect — of growth should be held to the same standards as their larger brethren under the state’s Growth Management Act.
Enacted in 1990 and 1991, the GMA is the comprehensive land-use planning framework for city and county governments in Washington state. The law establishes numerous requirements for local governments, including:
• adopting a countywide planning policy;
• adopting ordinances to protect areas designated as critical environmental areas;
• designating urban growth areas and directing future growth into those areas; and,
• adopting a comprehensive plan and regulations to implement that plan within four years.
from Pearl Rains-Hewett
Behind My Back.org
6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
7 Sec. 1. RCW 90.38.005 and 1989 c 429 s 1 are each amended to read
8 as follows:
9 (1) The legislature finds that:
It appears that the WA State Legislators can change WA State DOE Water Rules with a House Bill 1414 ?
36 to satisfy both existing rights, and other presently unmet as well as
37 future needs of the basin;
by Pearl Rains-Hewett
Behind My Back.org
It happened in Skagit County, and now it has happened in Clallam County.
The SKAGIT River Flow Management Committee is comprised of the groups that signed the original agreement: Skagit County, the PUD, Anacortes, Ecology, state Fish and Wildlife, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, the Upper Skagit Tribe and the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe.
“The Dungeness Exchange will have a local advisory board with invited representation from Clallam County, Department of Ecology, the Dungeness Water Users Association, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, City of Sequim, Clallam PUD No.1, Clallam Conservation District and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.” Continue reading
When Sound Transit decided in 2007 to build a light-rail stop on the property where Doris Cassan and her husband had operated an airport parking lot for 40 years, the city of Sea-Tac decided it was time to follow the trendy example of other cities by creating a “downtown” retail hub with the train station as a hub.
But in order to make that possible, the city would need to buy Cassan’s property or, when she declined to sell, use the government power of eminent domain to condemn the Cassan’s property so that private developers could enact its vision for the city.
The action, however, stretched the traditional understanding of eminent domain because it called for using the power in order to replace one private property owner with another rather than to build a public-use facility like a road or bridge. Continue reading
originally written October 11, 2011
The Florida State Legislature repealed its growth management legislation last spring. While Florida’s repeal still permits local jurisdictions to implement growth management planning tools by their own choice, there are no longer state mandates (nor state oversight) in Florida to do so. Economic development and jobs were the key reasons articulated for the repeal.
Washington’s Growth Management Act was adopted largely following Florida’s model. Does this mean Washington might follow suit? At least for this next legislative session, where dollars, instead of growth policy are likely to be the major (if not sole) focus of the debate in Olympia, repeal or even significant overhaul of Washington’s Growth Management Act is not likely. However, cries for regulatory reform (including repeated requests from the Governor’s office for new ideas) could spawn suggestions that Washington consider following Florida’s lead once again—if not in this session, in the near future. Continue reading
January 21, 2013
Judging from the parade of witnesses testifying on Friday before the House Local Government Committee in Olympia, many Washington residents would dispute the Wikipedia definition of Washington state’s Growth Management Act.
According to the online encyclopedia, “Rather than centralize planning and decision-making at the state level, the GMA built on Washington’s strong traditions of local government control and regional diversity.
“The GMA,” the narrative explains, “established state goals, set deadlines for compliance, offered direction on how to prepare local comprehensive plans and regulations and set forth requirements for early and continuous public participation. Within the framework provided by the mandates of the Act, local governments have many choices regarding the specific content of comprehensive plans and implementing development regulations.”
In the view of those speaking at Friday’s hearing, however, the impetus of the GMA is anything but local.
“If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the GMA is a freeway,” said Glen Morgan, property rights manager for the Olympia-based Freedom Foundation. “I would recommend repeal of the GMA and sending decisions on land-use policy back to the local level, where they belong.” Continue reading
So what’s wrong with regional governance? Nothing- unless you value the republican form of government and individual freedom — and detest autocracy in all its forms. Regional governance evolved as a way to get around the obstacles presented by multiple local governments, all of which may have a stake in the region, but often disagree on what the region needs. Continue reading
Today, we got our first look at the CAOs that were passed yesterday. They can be found at this link.
The County came out with a press release regarding Council CAO approval. As we review and analyze the final version, we will be providing our own commentary. At this stage, it appears as if many of the last-minute changes made by the Council were cosmetic. Councilwoman Pratt is quoted as saying that the CAOs represent “hard work” and “compromises,” but the final CAO text appears to represent neither. It makes us wonder whether Pratt has a grasp of either concept. Continue reading
August 15, 2012
PORT ANGELES, WA — In what he described as a “huge step forward,” Clallam County Commissioner Jim McEntire this week praised state Department of Ecology for addressing his concerns about the proposed water management rule for the Dungeness Valley. As it stands, McEntire said the state-initiated rule is “good enough” to preserve streamflows and protect senior water rights without harming the economy or infringing on property rights. “Big milestone,” McEntire said in a Tuesday commissioners’ meeting. “It ain’t over by any means. We’ve got to stay on this. But this is a big step.” READ MORE >>>>>
Political experts left and right agree: the coming election will be decided by America’s suburbanites. From Florida to Virginia on across the country, in every battleground state, they are the key demographic. All of which raises a question that has not been considered as yet, and ought to be: is President Obama’s re-election in the suburbanites’ interest? The answer emphatically is no.
As many Americans do not know, in the eyes of the leftist community organizers who trained Obama, suburbs are instruments of bigotry and greed — a way of selfishly refusing to share tax money with the urban poor. Obama adopted this view early on, and he has never wavered from this ideological commitment, as a review of his actions in office goes to show.
President Obama’s plans for a second-term include an initiative to systematically redistribute the wealth of America’s suburbs to the cities. It’s a transformative idea, and deserves to be fully aired before the election. But like a lot of his major progressive policy innovations, Obama has advanced this one stealthily–mostly through rule-making, appointment, and vague directives. Obama has worked on this project in collaboration with Mike Kruglik, one of his original community organizing mentors. Kruglik’s new group, Building One America, advocates “regional tax-base sharing,” a practice by which suburban tax money is directly redistributed to nearby cities and less-well-off “inner-ring” suburbs. Kruglik’s group also favors a raft of policies designed to coerce people out of their cars and force suburbanites (with their tax money) back into densely packed cities. Continue reading
by Sue Forde
for Citizen Review Online
Sequim, WA – A townhall meeting was held by Clallam County Commissioner Jim McEntire , District 1, and Sheila Roark-Miller, elected DCD [Dept. of Community Development] director to get input from the citizens who reside in Carlsborg, WA about a proposed sewage treatment plant. The meeting was held on August 7, 2012, starting at 5:30 pm in the Sequim Transportation Community Center. Approximately 80 people showed up, including residents, those who live in the surrounding area, and other interested citizens.
Sheila Roark-Miller opened by stating that “our job is to plan for infrastructure…plan for the UGA [Urban Growth Area]”.
Jim McEntire said that the “order of invalidity has been lifted”. Folks who own land are now free to pursue things in the UGA – as limited by law – the legal decision turned on a “technical point”, he said. The issue wasn’t whether the UGA was valid, but rather, did the county have a plan for infrastructure, i.e. the sewer. With the Growth Hearings Board, the issue still remains, he said. Police services, wastewater treatment and other infrastructure are needed. “We must be diligent in getting together the infrastructure,” he stated. The question is how to do this. The urgency has not gone away, he added. Continue reading
CARLSBORG, WA — Now that Carlsborg is back in the good graces of the Growth Management Act, Clallam County officials are zeroed in on building the long-awaited sewer and water reuse project for the unincorporated community west of Sequim.
A state Growth Management Hearings Board on June 4 dismissed its 2008 finding of noncompliance and invalidity for the Carlsborg urban growth area that prevented business from expanding.
Clallam County’s interim zoning controls, which restricted new development during the appeals process, automatically expired in 10 days.
“It’s all over,” Commissioner Mike Chapman said in a joint meeting with Clallam County Public Utility District officials Tuesday. Continue reading
August 10, 2012
Friends Board member, Janet Alderton, who never met a person she couldn’t lecture, has a letter in a local news blog about unfounded CAO fears. In it, she claims that the new CAOs will hardly change anything for homeowners, which (if true) just begs the obvious question of why are we changing them at all?
The fact is that the new CAOs will change everything for our community, but if Janet is genuinely interested in unfounded claims, perhaps she should re-read the text of the CAOs which she helped to write. Here’s an excerpt from the proposed CAO for wetlands.
As discussed in the BAS Synthesis, runoff from areas influenced by human development is well characterized (National Research Council, 2008) and is often contaminated with an array of pollutants, including: those from lawn and garden chemicals (containing both active ingredients and surfactants that can negatively affect aquatic species); building materials including pressure treated lumber (containing copper chromated arsenate), zinc and copper impregnated shingles and roofing strips, and roofing materials containing phthalates (plastic gutters and downspouts, roofing felt, roof membranes); fertilizers; rodent poisons; termite spray and other insecticides; moss control products; deicers; contaminants associated with automobiles, including oil, antifreeze, rubber and metals from the wear of tires, brakes and other parts; and sediment from dirt and gravel driveways. Many of these contaminants are directly associated with the choices and practices of the property owner and are difficult or impossible to regulate. If they are allowed to enter surface water bodies, these pollutants can contaminate and become concentrated in the food web, negatively affecting aquatic habitats and species.
Is well characterized? Is often contaminated with an array of pollutants? Are impossible to regulate? Can contaminate and become concentrated in the food web?
August 6th, 2012 – 6:00am
(Carlsborg) — Clallam County, PUD and city of Sequim officials will outline plans for a new sewer in Carlsborg tomorrow night.
The community forum starts at 5:30 pm in the Sequim Transit Center.
Clallam County Commissioner Jim McEntire and community development director Sheila Roark Miller along with other county, PUD and Sequim staff will take questions from the public on the proposal.
The county is moving ahead with the sewer for Carlsborg. That system was key to lifting growth caps places on the area a number of years ago. The state lifted the caps earlier this summer.
The county will pay for the system, but the PUD will run it.
Officials are now trying to come up with what it will cost to hook up to the new sewer. County officials say they’ve come up with new plans to lower the hook-up costs from original proposals.
The county is dipping into a fund used for economic development projects to help pay for the sewer. It is expected to cost more than 14 million dollars to construct.
Bookmark their website to follow environmental issues there. http://trojanheron.blogspot.com/
The Critical Areas Ordinances (CAOs) are a requirement of the Growth Management Act (GMA). Unknown to many is the fact that the oversight agency for the GMA is the Department of Commerce, not the Department of Ecology. The GMA requires that Commerce consult with Ecology on critical areas. However, Ecology has no authority, under the GMA, to involve itself at the local level. Ecology’s local participation occurs only with the tolerance, permission, or invitation of our local government.
According to independent analysis of the County’s critical areas maps, critical areas will affect 50% of parcels covering 78% of the area of the county — even before buffers are added. Technically, the critical aquifer recharge area (CARA) map affected 100% of parcels, but the land-use restrictions of that particular CAO were slight. By contrast, the effects of the upcoming CAOs will have onerous restrictions for affected citizens.
When the GMA was enacted, San Juan County was not required to fully participate (fully plan, as it is called). However, our County Commissioners at the time (Cowan, LaPorte, and Orchid) opted in. In all, 29 of the 39 counties in Washington were eventually required to fully plan. While the CAOs are required of all counties, whether they fully plan or not, the CAOs of the ten counties who do not fully plan cannot have their CAOs appealed before the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB). That is an often-used legal threat made by Ecology and the Friends of the San Juans: that if the Council is not appropriately strict, they will be challenged before the GMHB. Continue reading
from Pearl Rains-Hewett
Other viruses present elsewhere in the world could similarly be introduced into the United States, as well as new species of mosquitoes. In the mid-1980s Aedes albopictus arrived; in the late 1990s Ochlerotatus japonicus.
One report, these infected mosquito can only fly two miles? They did not report how many miles a bird infected with West Nile Virus can fly?
Our Federal Government mandates “no net loss” of wetlands? Restore or create wetlands?
Save the WETLANDS? And sicken and KILL the People of the world?
Malaria and other mosquito-vectored diseases are a brutal form of population control.
CUT FUNDING FOR RESTORATION AND CREATION OF WETLANDS
Pearl Rains Hewett
Read on if you are interested
Published on Thu, Jul 26, 2012
Sequim, WA – With the date of anticipated promulgation growing closer, State Reps. Steve Tharinger and Kevin Van De Wege continue to support the final approval of the Dungeness Water Management Rule.
State Sen. Jim Hargrove wants to have a few details ironed out before he gives it a thumbs-up.
The Department of Ecology proposed the rule in May and hopes to have it in place this fall.
Published on Wed, Jul 11, 2012
The water management rule promulgated by the Department of Ecology in 2009 resulted in an immediate moratorium on development in the Upper Kittitas. Mitch Williams, a Kittitas builder, said today no one purchases land within the area “until they have water.” Before issuing the rule, Ecology created a draft map of water availability. Williams said, “Green means you’re good to go. Yellow is a big maybe. If it’s red, you’re already screwed,” he said. Department of Ecology graphic
July 3, 2012
PORT ANGELES — After a week of deliberation, the three Clallam County commissioners reached consensus Tuesday on a letter addressing the state Department of Ecology’s proposed water management rule for the Dungeness Valley. The revised three-page letter raises eight concerns the county has about the state-initiated rule that would set minimum flows in the river, create a water exchange and require the owner of new wells to mitigate his or her use of water by purchasing credits. The controversial rule would affect the eastern half of Water Resource Inventory Area 18 from Bagley Creek to Sequim Bay. Concerns raised by the county include the requirement for meters on new wells, protection from liability and the need for a periodic performance assessment of the rule. The letter — which commissioners approved by a 3-0 vote Tuesday — is available at www.clallam.net. Commissioner Jim McEntire, the board liaison for Water Resource Inventory Area 18 issues, led the effort to formulate comments that reflect the interests of his fellow board members, county staff and the public. READ MORE >>>http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20120704/news/307049990/clallam-county-approves-letter-to-ecology-on-dungeness-water-rule
PORT ANGELES — Clallam County lawmakers today will finalize a response to the state Department of Ecology’s proposed water management rule for the Dungeness Valley. The county has raised some of the same criticisms that citizens aired in a well-attended public hearing Thursday night in Sequim, including an in-house economic study of the state-initiated rule. Commissioners will discuss the draft comment letter in a continued work session at 9:30 a.m. today before taking a vote in the 10 a.m. business meeting.
Dozens of citizens railed against the state-initiated rule that would set minimum in-stream flows, create a water exchange and require the owner of a new well to “mitigate” water use by buying credits. The rule affects the eastern half of Water Resource inventory Area 18 from Bagley Creek to Sequim Bay. Several speakers last week cited internal emails from Ecology economist Tryg Hoff, who said that the cost of implementing the rule would outweigh the benefits. Hoff asked to be removed from the assignment before the analysis was developed, Ecology spokeswoman Linda Kent said in a Monday email. Read More>>>http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20120703/news/307039990/clallam-county-commissioners-draft-response-to-dungeness-water-rule
on Private Property Rights (2003)
International Falls, Minnesota
Thank you. My name is Don, and I am a recovering environmentalist. I thank you for that introduction. Carol and I have talked over the phone, like she said, for years, but it’s nice to be back in New York. I have to tell you something though. I don’t know who designed your freeway system. I was thinking about that as I was coming out of New York City last night trying to figure out how to get to Albany. It looked easy on the map. You know, I did take some map reading courses at West Point, so it’s not that I don’t know how to read a map, but, anyway, the only thing I could think of was the Department of Tourism once they get people in New York they don’t want them to leave, so they create this system. I have to tell you, you’ve a ways to go to keep up with Pennsylvania, though. I think I have been living in rural America for too long. You get in a metropolitan area and you kind of panic. So that’s why, after 25 years in Northern Minnesota, I am moving to St. Paul, which is kind of a frightening prospect. What are you going to do driving in that traffic? Well, you know what? I found a place to live that’s seven miles walking distance to the Capitol, so I am looking forward to that, actually.
Frankly, that’s one of the problems we have in the rural parts of America. Our capitols are so far away. I was trying to get things done living five hours from the Capitol and, I tell you what, those folks that live in the St. Paul area have an advantage. The problem is, us folks that are passionate about what happens in the rural parts of the country, we don’t want to live in the city, and we tried for years to try to get the Capitol moved up north. It’s a lost cause. I get involved in a lot of battles, but that one we’re going to lose.
But I really appreciate the invitation. It’s nice to be back here. I want to congratulate Carol for organizing this conference. I am not a conference organizer, but I got stuck with one, and I tell you it’s a lot of work and a lot of headaches, but forums like this are really important to bring a lot of people together. So thank you for doing that, Carol. Continue reading
November 23, 2011
A second batch of leaked emails from scientists working on board and alongside the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have come to light. They contain shocking revelations which show an insular cadre of climate scientists coordinating efforts to place advocacy ahead of science, stifle dissent, and conceal information which detracts from a preconceived, ideologically driven, global warming narrative.
This shockingly candid look at the machinations of the high priests of global warming has given rise to renewed demands that the EPA, EU and global community cancel existing plans and programs designed to radically lower or cap and tax carbon emissions. These misguided policies already have created economic havoc in Europe, cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S. and pose a major threat to the world economy. Continue reading
Commentary by Randy Dutton
Posted June 20, 2012
I know that by the stroke of their pens the Commissioners virtually eliminated the possibility of me selling the ten acres of bluff ridge above Geissler Road. Why? Because the county has a roadside man-made ditch they claim occasionally has sculpin in it. Thus it is classified as ‘fish bearing’ and establishes a 140-foot buffer, which then tracks along that lot’s entire bluff edge. So, the county loses the potential revenue from building two homes, and because the property has great views, there may be a loss of bringing professionals and their jobs into the county. Good going Commissioners! You just screwed the County out of more jobs and tax revenue! Continue reading
MONTESANO, WA — On a split vote, the Grays Harbor County commissioners approved changes to the county’s critical areas ordinance, which increases the “buffers” land owners must leave between development and
A rural area near the Chehalis or Wynooche rivers would have had to leave a 50-foot buffer under the old rules. But, under the newly-adopted rules, that buffer is increased to 150 feet.
Gone also are the old permitting rules under the critical areas ordinance that allowed a single-residential home to be treated differently than a major industrial site. Now, all applications are treated the same with identical buffers. Continue reading
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