Thank you for contacting my office regarding the proposed land use changes commonly grouped together and referred to as the CAO (Critical Areas Ordinance). Due to the large number of contacts on this controversial subject, I feel it is important to share with each of you my perspective on this issue.

 

The proposed CAO is a poorly written, troubling piece of legislation which appears to have less to do with BAS (Best Available Science) and more to do with the political goal of essentially stopping growth in the rural area. What else could explain this regulation calling for the exact opposite of what the Department of Ecology and common sense tells us, viz. buffers should be larger in urban areas where adverse environmental impacts are greatest?

 

Public testimony, with perhaps a handful of exceptions, has been that those who live in the rural areas, where the regulations will hit hardest, oppose these ordinances. Those supporting these regulations, by and large, do not live on rural property. In essence they are calling for regulation on someone else's property.

 

This is one more reason why rural citizens often feel disenfranchised from their own county government. Regulations are imposed on those who cannot politically defend themselves. Votes taken by urban dwelling Councilmembers represent very little political risk. Don't miss the point that I am the only Councilmember living on personally owned property in the rural area.

 

However, most troubling to me is that no one has satisfactorily answered my oft-repeated question: "Who, and by what authority, is saying that King County is currently out of compliance with the Growth Management Act?" I believe that the failure of anyone to be able to articulate a satisfactory answer to my question shows that the bulk of the proposed regulation is unnecessary regulation. We could fix a few places where current regulation is failing without adopting the sweeping changes being called for in the current proposals.

 

If you have any specific questions, please don't hesitate to contact my office.

 

Councilmember Steve Hammond
Metropolitan King County Council
District 9
206/296.1009
www.metrokc.gov/hammond

-----Original Message-----
From: John R. Venrick [mailto:jacksranch@qwest.net]
Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 12:43 AM
To: Jan WAStateRepShibro; Dan WAStateRepRoach; Ron Sims; Carolyn Edmonds; Bob Ferguson; Kathy Lambert; Larry Phillps; Dwight Pelz; Rob Mckenna; Pete von Reichbauer; Dow Constantine; Steve Hammond; Larry Gossett; Jane Hague; David Irons; Julia Patterson
Cc: KVI KVI; John Carlson KVI; Bill O'Reilly; info@proprights.org
Subject: NO Critical Areas Ordinance NO 65-10 FOXNews.com - Politics - Private Property May Become Preserved e

Dear Ron Sims, Steve Hammond, Council Members and my WA Representatives:
 
The proposed ordinances commonly known as the CAO are extremely unfair to the property owners of rural King County. It is unconscionable to ask them alone to foot the bill for 150 years of environmental damage caused by the urbanization of King County. I agree with the testimony submitted by Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights and urge that you read it and act accordingly. There is no emergency that requires this legislation nor is it mandated by the Growth Management Act. King County already has the strongest restrictions on land use in the state. Rural property owners have already paid much more than their share through multiple down-zonings.
Just vote NO to CAO.
----- Original Message -----
From: John R. Venrick
To: Undisclosed-Recipient
Sent: Saturday, July 03, 2004 12:24 AM
Subject: FOXNews.com - Politics - Private Property May Become Preserved

King County Council and Ron Sims is receiving the dubious distinction on national news - see article below.
 
P/ease email this to other King County property owners you know.
 
My suggestion is to email AND fax or mail your comments to at least your King County Council Representative if not all of them including Ron Sims and your State District Legislators ASAP.   Also include your favorite radio and TV stations.
 
Tim Trohimovich "1000 Friends of Washington" seems to be behind this proposal.  He was interviewed on the radio and lives in a condo down town Seattle.  This appears to be an anti sprawl environmental group trying to impose their views on those of us living in the country.
Here is some comments about them from a Public Policy Institute.  http://www.urbanfutures.org/031802.html
 
King County Council Members
http://www.metrokc.gov/mkcc/members/members.htm
 
King County Council Executive Ron Sims
exec.sims@metrokc.gov
King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, Room 400
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 296-4040
Fax: (206) 296-0194
TTY: 711
Office hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
WA State Legislature
http://www.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx
 
 

 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,124358,00.html
 
KING COUNTY, Wash. - Residents of King County, Wash., will only be able to build on 10 percent of their land, according to a new law being considered by the county government, which, if enacted, will be the most restrictive land use law in the nation.

Known as the 65-10 Rule (search), it calls for landowners to set aside 65 percent of their property and keep it in its natural, vegetative state. According to the rule, nothing can be built on this land, and if a tree is cut down, for example, it must be replanted. Building anything is out of the question.

Most of the residents who will be directly affected by the regulations - those who own property in the rural areas of the country - are fuming. They see the new regulations as a land grab and a violation of their property rights.

"My take is it's stealing - out and out stealing," said county resident Marshall Brenden. "They're taking 65 percent of your land that you fought for years to pay for, paid mortgages on and now you can't use it."

But supporters and environmentalists say personal property rights do not trump the rights of a larger community to save the eco-system (search).

"We're trying to keep the rural area a place that isn't just McMansions and ball courts, but instead has those natural processes," said Tim Trohimovich of the group 1000 Friends of Washington (search), which aims to promote healthy communities and cities while protecting farmland and forests.

 

Here's what the Seattle Times has to say:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/text/2001931464_tobynixon18.html