Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Journal Staff

AUBURN The Auburn City Council has weighed in against Initiative 933, the so-called private property rights initiative that will appear on the November ballot.

Council members present at last week's meeting approved a resolution voicing  their opposition to I-933, claiming it was vague and would impose an unfair burden on cities to implement it. Councilman Roger Thordarson was excused from the meeting Monday and did not vote.

The measure would require compensation when government regulations  damage the use or value of private property, would forbid regulations that prohibit existing legal uses of private property, and would provide exceptions or payments.

Compensation would be required when regulations are enforced that damage private property use or value, including regulations prohibiting or restricting property uses that were allowed as of January 1, 1996.

In their resolution, the council members noted that the initiative defines damaging the use or value of property to include "requiring a portion of property to be left in its natural state or without beneficial use to its owner, unless necessary to prevent immediate harm to human health and safety."

That would include many critical areas regulations that prohibit development in environmentally sensitive areas such as steep slopes, wetlands, or in buffer areas around streams, the council said.

The initiative would require local jurisdictions that act to comply with the state Growth Management Act to compensate affected property owners or ignore the state law, the council said.

Last modified: August 27. 2006 12:00AM