Over the last three years, we have given county planners and commissioners thoughtful and well-researched input on the Shoreline Master Program update, pointing out where they haven’t complied with the law and where their science is just plain wrong. (See the documents below.)
On the one hand, we were pleased that the County adopted our recommendation that existing homes and their appurtenances and the existing uses of the properties be designated “legally conforming”, and that the County adopted a “Shoreline Residential” designation for much of the shoreline.
But our input in virtually every other area of concern was studiously ignored, including the lack of science to justify the mandated large buffers, and the dramatic and unjustified expansion of the use of the highly-restrictive “Natural” and “Conservancy” shoreline designations.
The county’s position in applying these unwanted and unneeded controls on residential shoreline property appears to be that, “We’re just doing what we think the Department of Ecology wants”. They fail to recognize that the customers they need to give deference to are the property owners of the county not some government agency.
The County approved the updated master plan on January 30, 2013 and submitted it to the Department of Ecology for review and approval – which is anticipated no later than the May-June timeframe. In this process, Ecology will entertain written comments and will hold a public testimony meeting. It is important that shoreline owners and other concerned citizens voice their objections to Ecology about the unjustified heavy-handed taking of shoreline private property rights. Continue reading