Testimony of Karl Duff on Kitsap County SMP

Testimony Against Kitsap’s Proposed Shoreline Master Program Update Dated October 22, 2012

Honorable Commissioners:

Three points regarding SMP Update errors and omissions:

(1)  The SMP update is not based on science, as required. The shoreline Inventory and Assessment Survey failed professional testing by the University of Washington, (The actual word used was “nonsense”).  Possibly Sue Donohue realized this difficulty shortly before leaving employment of Kitsap County.

(2)  In fact there is NO SCIENCE AT ALL in DCD’s decision to increase buffer widths to 80 ft.  It was a political decision, explained to the SMP Task Force, at which I was present, an arbitrary action with no compensation to owners for such ‘takings; i.e., removal of property from owner’s ability to use.  Without this action the buffers would remain at 35 ft., a figure Kitsap County claimed defensible with science in 2005 before the regional Growth Hearings Board.

(3)  The County is operating illegally in requiring property owners to concede land use rights in order to obtain permits.  The Kitsap Alliance has several cases available for review.  This has been REPEATEDLY ruled illegal by the U. S. Supreme Court in violation of constitutional protections of property rights.  Case law is Dolan vs. City of Tigard (1994) and Nollan vs. California Coastal Commission (1987).  By copy to the Prosecutor, I’m requesting Kitsap County’s justification for this practice.

Commissioner Brown made reprehensible public complaint that so much SMP testimony was ‘negative’. I believe Vivian Henderson’s testimony was accurate in characterizing Kitsap County’s actions on private shorelines property as “thievery” and “stealing”.  By denigrating SMP opposition, Commissioner Brown reveals lack of sympathy for property owners, PLUS lack of comprehension as to what is really taking place.

How can any owner provide positive testimony when property is actually being taken from owners’ use through (a) increases in buffers and set-backs , (b) mandatory public scenic rights (that block owner views), (c) mandatory vegetation requirements and (d) unabated taxation of the property?


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