Much of the conflict or controversy over the critical areas and other local land use decisions is primarily due to the absence of adequate information. Neither we, the country, or the state authorities have enough information to be able to tell if such proposals will help or not.
In 1854 Herman Meville, author of “Moby Dick,” penned a short story, easily read in less than ten minutes: “The Lightning Rod Man.” A rascal goes door-to-door selling lightning rods, dramatically appearing at the height of thunderstorms forewarning dangers of lightning and benefits of his product in providing protection from certain disaster. This time honored sales technique of doom is alive and well in county politics. It is called the Critical Areas Ordinance.
We are writing this letter as representatives of the Lopez Island Conservation Corps, a local 501c3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to engaging volunteers, primarily youth, through the maintenance and exploration of our special public lands.
Happy to see the ad by the Sheriffs Dept. in the March 13 Weekly announcing a county anonymous “tip” line. Now at last we can turn in our neighbors for what we think they “might” be doing, completely anonymously. At the very least we can get them on the sheriffs ‘watch’ list, they’re surly up to something ! I heard on NPR the other night that it is expected there will be up to 30,000 drone aircraft flying American skies within 5 years. Just think of how safe we will all be then !!??
For some time I have wanted to express my thanks to those who conceived the idea of “The Hamlet” on Lopez and made it happen. My family and I discovered the San Juan Islands in the early 1970’s.
Site-specific buffers are complex. In a perfect world, site-specific buffers would be better for property owners and better for our environment. But the costs to administer a system of this complexity will be high, both in time and money, unless the new regulations are clear, consistent and GMA-compliant.
Good grief, don’t pay ‘em another dime! Weren’t Adamus, Herrera, et.al., hired to present scientifically substantiated findings/BAS that bear some reasonable relationship to San Juan County? Then how is it that Herrera turned out the most negative report on “paradise” to ever see the light of day? All we have to do is look around this beautiful county to know that this is preposterous. Makes one think that the folks that wrote this dubious tome need a high colonic.
Last month, the San Juan County Hearing Examiner decided that conservancy land-use allows the county to make a 2 acre clear-cut and add a new parking lot, port-a-potties, and even electric lights to our little historic park here on Shaw Island.
George Orwell likely wrote “1984” without knowing of the San Juan Islands but his world of Big Brother is coming closer with the latest County Council plan for amending the existing Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO).
As I read the 51 pages of the Community Development and Planning staff report and proposed CAO ordinance general regulations the other night I broke out in a cold sweat trying to wrap my mind around the complexity of these regulations and restrictions. I am no slouch when it comes to critical analysis and unraveling complex issues, but I have trouble finding the time to keep up with these proposed regulations, much less predicting the impact they will have on our community.