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Planning to Stifle Human Ingenuity

Glenn Morgan
The Freedom Foundation

Posted 1/5/2013


When my Great Uncle Ed Dalby installed the first waterwheel in the South Puget Sound near Union, WA in 1922, he did not get a permit.  He was just an innovative guy, and he wanted to have electric lights in his home and a few cabins on his property.  He also believed in recycling (long before it was a fad).  He acquired the used counterbalance flywheel from the Yesler Cable Car in Seattle, and along with other scrapped material was able to produce power for the family homestead until well past World War II.  This waterwheel is a famous landmark today, officially listed, and unofficially photographed, painted, and admired by both locals and tourists 90 years after it was built.  In today’s world, Ed Dalby would be arrested, fined, sued, and probably end up in endless litigation for building this landmark.  With modern zoning, shoreline master plans, comp plans, visioning plans, consensus goals, critical area ordinances, planning departments, and the Environmental Industrial Complex in full force, it is ludicrious to believe that a modern landmark like this could ever be built by an individual again.


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