Ron Ewart, President
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RURAL LANDOWNERS
P. O. Box 1031, Issaquah, WA 98027
425 222-4742 or 1 800 682-7848
(Fax No. 425 222-4743)
A state appelate court has overturned King County's controversial land use ordinance that had ordered some rural property owners to leave at least half of their property untouched.
The decision, handed down in Division 1 of the state's Court of Appeals, overturned a 2006 Snohomish Superior Court ruling concerning King County regulations in response to the Critical Areas Ordinance.
The King County ordinance was passed in 2005 with the intention of protecting environmentally sensitive areas and preventing erosion and flooding, but it stirred up passionate opposition.
The suit, filed by the Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights, against King County, County Executive Ron Sims and the County Council, took on the measure - part of a group of three "critical areas ordinances" passed by the council - which requires, among other things, certain rural property owners in unincorporated parts of the county to set aside 50 percent to 65 percent of their land as natural vegetation.
In its ruling the appelate court said "because the clearing limitations of the ordinance fall within the score of an indirect 'tax, fee, or charge' on development the county has failed in its burden to show that the limitations fall within any of the statutory exceptions."