Testimony of Doug Lyons at the Kitsap County Planning Commission SMP Hearing

Criminalization of Land Use Regulations

As one of the 6,000 or so with a shoreline single family residence, I am alarmed by the wording in the proposed SMP that would criminalize any development a property owner might make to their property if it were to be held as not compliant with the SMP.

I submit paragraph 6.4.3 Civil Penalties of the SMP should be stricken. The penalties of $1000 per day for non-compliance are extortion. Recently I attended a meeting of the Pacific Legal Foundation. At that meeting were the Sacketts. If you recall they are a family in a small town in Idaho that were being sued by the EPA for allegedly for building their home on a wet land. The EPA was fining them several thousand dollars per day and they had run the total to over $600,000. The issue went to the Supreme Court and the Sacketts won with the vote being 9-0. The issue was not the wet lands but rather if the EPA had the right to extort this money using permits to levy fines in the same manner as paragraph 6.4.3.

As for paragraph, 6.4.4 Criminal Penalties, it should also be stricken. The penalty does not fit the situation.  A Gross Misdemeanor just a little lesser offense than a  Felony. I can’t imagine property development of the type a shoreline property owner would make that would threaten the health or safety of the community as is required for a Gross Misdemeanor. Further no property owner would want some county clerk or zealous inspector to have such authority.

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