Dear Rural Landowners and other interested parties:
 
You may be tempted, after reading the article below about DDES's permit amnesty that appeared in the King County Journal this morning, to go into DDES and give yourself up (if you are in violation of some ordinance).  If you fall for this, you might as well blow up your wallet and your bank account and perhaps your marriage, because they will be coming after each of them.  Let them (CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS - CEO's) on your property and you will open up a can of worms that may just do you in.  Make no mistake.  The reason they want to grant you amnesty has more to do with them wanting your money, than obeying the law.  Their entire organization (if you can call it that) is funded by permit fees, over-charging, padding bills, penalties, interest and impact fees.  Since land use ordinances exercise government control over the land, the cost of land use controls should come from taxes on the land, over an extremely broad base.  Because land use controls are for the benefit of the public and the public at large should pay.  They should not be coming to you for fees that end up benefiting the public.  When you improve your land, in any manner, they raise the assessed valuation.  When they raise the assessed valuation, your taxes go up accordingly.  Total revenues to the County go up as well, sometimes dramatically.  Over the last 30 years, I have watched permit fees at King County skyrocket and then double, after double, after double.  The fixed fees are exorbitant.  The hourly fees are a license to steal.  A class-action lawsuit has been filed against DDES for an alleged $20,000,000 in over charging.
 
All my life I have obeyed the law as best I could, because I believe strongly in a lawful society.  I still do.  We are a culture of laws based on our Constitutions.  Without law, we end up in chaos, or worse, anarchy.  However, when there are way too many laws, or the laws become so egregious that they violate your constitutional rights, it is your duty, nay your obligation, to disobey or ignore the law or laws.
 
Here is why, from the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
 
If you cannot see that "a long train of abuses" has taken place for many, many years, you are not paying attention.
 
Beware!!!  If you get sucked into DDES's amnesty, you do so at your own peril.
 
 
 
Ron Ewart
Fall City, WA
425 222-9482

 
 
> >     *Property owners can get permits*
> >     2005-07-15
> >     Journal Staff
> >     
> >     King County property owners who have done clearing, grading or
> >     construction on their land without first obtaining a permit can
> >     obtain a permit without being penalized during a one-time amnesty
> >     program that begins today.
> >     
> >     To be eligible for the program, the unpermitted activity must have
> >     occurred prior to today, and a complete permit application must be
> >     filed with the county Department of Development and Environmental
> >     Services by Dec. 31.
> >     
> >     The intent of the amnesty program, according to King County, is to
> >     protect public health, homeowners and the environment by
> >     encouraging property owners to complete the permit process.
> >     
> >     Applicants will be charged only the standard permit review fees.
> >     
> >     Property owners who know that construction has been done on their
> >     property without permits should contact the DDES Permit Center at
> >     206-296-6600. Permit application materials are available at
> >    
http://www.metrokc.gov/ddes.
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
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