July 19, 2006
King County zoning makes me feel like I live in a
communistic country! It makes me angry. King County
zoning destroys incentive. It is as if the county
owns the land. How can people make a living? How can
people peaceably enjoy their land? I am tempted
to say that King County zoning should be abolished!
Am I being extreme?
Michael Goodspaceguy Nelson, former candidate for
King County executive

--- Norman MacLeod <gaelwolf@waypt.com> wrote:

> _____
> County panel suggests easing rural zoning laws
> By Keith Ervin <mailto:kervin@seattletimes.com>
> Seattle Times staff reporter
> Proposed changes to rural zoning laws would make it
> easier for King County
> farmers to house workers and for people to operate
> home-based businesses.
> County officials will hold a public meeting next
> week and have scheduled
> several other meetings with community groups to get
> feedback on the
> proposals.
> King County Executive Ron Sims' Office of Business
> Relations and Economic
> Development suggested loosening some development
> restrictions, and the
> County Council's Growth Management and Natural
> Resources Committee amended
> the proposal to give property owners more
> flexibility.
> For years some rural landowners have been asking for
> less restrictive rules
> on home businesses. Relations between Sims and the
> property owners have been
> strained since the council enacted tough development
> rules under a new
> critical-areas ordinance two years ago.
> Sims' economic-development office has recommended
> allowing one dwelling unit
> for temporary or permanent farmworkers on 20 acres,
> two units for up to 50
> acres, three units for up to 100 acres, and one unit
> for each additional 100
> acres. Each housing unit could be no larger than
> 1,000 square feet.
> Now zoning allows only one dwelling unit in addition
> to the farmer's home.
> Julia Larson, coordinator of Sims' Rural Economic
> Strategy, said the need
> for more farmworker housing was raised "at every
> single meeting" held with
> rural community groups since December.
> Sims also would increase from 2,000 square feet to
> 3,500 square feet the
> area on which property owners could sell farm
> products or process food
> without a conditional-use permit. Restrictions on
> the size of wineries and
> breweries also would be relaxed.
> Landowners would be allowed to thin forests in
> critical areas and buffers
> without losing the right to develop the property in
> the following six years,
> as is currently the case. Rules would be eased only
> for thinning undertaken
> for the purpose of enhancing forest health or
> preventing fires.
> The council's growth-management committee this month
> approved amendments
> that would allow customers to visit home-based
> services, such as hairstyling
> or medical treatment, without appointments.
> Entrepreneurs also could sell
> products from their homes, rather than having to
> sell by mail order or from
> stores at remote sites.
> Home businesses, which now can hire only one outside
> employee, would be
> allowed to hire three under the growth committee's
> amendments.
> The committee also would allow more pickups or other
> vehicles to be parked
> outside home businesses, would eliminate the
> requirement for landscaping
> around storage areas and would boost the amount of
> space that could be used
> for business purposes both indoors and outdoors.
> Sims is scheduled to report to the County Council on
> public comment received
> and on his final recommendations by Aug. 31.
> Public meetings
> King County land-use and economic-development
> officials will hold a public
> meeting next Tuesday on proposed zoning changes
> intended to ease
> restrictions on rural businesses. The meeting will
> be at 7 p.m. at the
> Preston Community Center, 8615 310th Ave. S.E.
> The proposals also will be discussed at the
> following meetings:
> 7 tonight: at Four Creeks Unincorporated Area
> Council, May Valley Alliance
> Church, 16431 S.E. Renton-Issaquah Road.
> Noon Aug. 3: Duvall Chamber of Commerce, Duvall Fire
> Station meeting room,
> 15600 First Ave. N.E.
> 7 p.m. Aug. 7: Greater Maple Valley Area Council,
> King County Police
> Precinct 3, 22300 S.E. 231st St.
> Public comment on the proposals will be accepted
> until Aug. 10. More
> information can be found at
> www.metrokc.gov/exec/news/2006/0718rural.aspx
> Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or
> <mailto:kervin@seattletimes.com>
> kervin@seattletimes.com

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