If your home is in the new buffer, even a little, it will become legally non-conforming, set to be phased out over time. You’re not alone. The changes could impact more than 7,000 shoreline homeowners.
Under the new regulations, if you need a building permit for any reason, you may be forced to tear out your lawn and garden and replace them with a no-touch native vegetation zone.
When it’s time to sell your home, you may need to find a cash buyer. Most banks won’t finance the purchase of a non-conforming home. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac won’t touch them.
There’s no science to justify the change, but true believers don’t let facts get in their way. They see you as the problem and big buffers as the solution.
Commissioners may say the Dept. of Ecology made them do it. They may point to consultants, planners, or the citizens’ task force the planners have been ignoring.
Let them know what you think.
Take a minute to send an email to your commissioner. While you’re at it, send copies to the other two. Tell them it’s important to make sure your home is declared legally “conforming” in the new Shoreline Master Program. Tell them it’s important to protect the environment AND your property rights.
If they do, the commissioners will solve some of the problems caused by greatly increased buffers and setbacks. It will be easier to refinance your mortgage or sell your home. That’s the least they can do!