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Sunday, July 13, 2008 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Letters to the Editor

Critical-areas ruling

Writer wrong about ruling's impact

Mark Johnson has missed the point of the appellate court's ruling when he says that "every property owner who wants to remove a significant amount of forest vegetation from their property be required to demonstrate that their action does not" negatively affect the environment ["A critical ordinance: Ruling a wrong move; burden falls on owners," Northwest Voices, July 10].

The court clearly stated that the burden of proof lies with King County. If complex studies and administrative fees are applied, this will simply be a restructuring of the unfair taxation the court just tossed.

Of course this is the approach King County will take. Their pattern is to ignore court rulings. What's the worst that will happen? They will end up in court again ... and they can ignore that ruling ... and on and on.

— Sam Teasley, Black Diamond

Times editorial overstates deforestation

I would agree wholeheartedly with The Times' editorial "The land clash: can we preserve the green?" [July 11] were it based on good data. From 1995 to 2005, the percent of forested lands in King County held steady. "Excessive" forest destruction was not a problem and what was lost was balanced out by those of us who were letting forests grow.

The Times is perpetuating the myth that rural landowners are not good stewards of the land and should justifiably lose their rights to it. The facts do not support such drastic measures or opinions.

— Arie van der Hoeven, Redmond

Shades of Foley

King County Executive Ron "Tax to the Max" Sims, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that the King County critical-areas ordinance that steals land from property and homeowners warrants expenditures of millions to litigate the case up through the Washington State Supreme Court and probably the federal courts to overturn what a lower Washington court has deemed as unconstitutional ["County to appeal rural-area land-clearing ruling," Local News, July 11].

When Tom Foley, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, sued the people in defiance of their will about congressional term limitations, the voters threw him out of office. One can only hope for a similar result. So go Sims! It would be the best expenditure of county funds you ever initiated.

— Gary Kennedy, Des Moines

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