On May 20th, I had the opportunity to speak before a group of Whatcom County property owners who were concerned about existing and pending land use regulation in both their county and the state.
The group was about 50 strong and represented the full community spectrum including builders, developers, Realtors, lawyers, farmers, and individual property owners. Some had a long history of involvement in land use regulation while others were out for the first time.
The common factor was their universal concern about the curtailment of ability to use private property because of regulation and restrictions imposed by layers of government.
Steve Hammond from CAPR also attended. Steve’s message was the importance of organizing and the need for a stronger state wide presence in Olympia and before County Commissioners
and City Councils providing a second voice to the land use issue. My presentation addressed how to organize and the key elements of an effective organization. I used the over 9 years of
KAPO experience to highlight those elements of organization and structure that allowed an all volunteer organization function over time and to be effective in both public education and in presenting an alternative position on regulatory issues. The messages were well received.
The most beneficial aspect of the visit is to know that other people in other Counties are experiencing the same frustrations that we in KAPO deal with. Those individual have reached the point of not being willing to stand by and accept further government abuse of their property.
They are organizing. They are formalizing a common voice on issue. They are becoming involved with a strength that can only be realized through group action. And because they are joining the fray, we are not alone.