Author Archives: kapoadmin

You still have a chance to tell Ecology what is wrong with the Shoreline Master Plan.

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

The Great County Land Grab

Kitsap County is planning to dramatically increase the number of shoreline properties designated Natural and Conservancy. You would think that Kitsap County residents would be outraged when their government takes their private property to establish large buffers without any real justification and without compensation. But, except for a handful of people, there is virtually no indication of public concern.

Is this complacency because the County has done such a good job of convincing people they need to give up their rights to their property to protect the environment; or is it because most people have no idea of what they have given away until they are forced to sign away control over a significant part of their land as a condition of a home improvement permit?

Conversations with homeowners suggest it is the latter.  Continue reading

Testimony of Jackie Rossworn to the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners


Here we are at the end of a long, long journey concerning the Shorelines Management Act passed in 1971. Thirty plus years later Dept of Ecology decides that it might be time to do something about it and the Shoreline Master Program came about. And in 2000 I gave up control of 35 ft of my shoreline. Kitsap County argued that 35ft was perfect to protect the shoreline.

However in the late 1990’s shoreline owners on both side of Rich Passage had to sue WA. State Ferries to stop the horrendous damage being done to property by Fast Foot Ferries going to Seattle. That suit was settled, damages repaired and speed limits imposed. But there was NO money for the damaged shorelines and natural habitat. Kelp beds were torn out and sandy beaches were horribly eroded. Then next came the Sea-Port fast boat moving sailors from Everett to Naval Base Bremerton. They quit running by the time we were gearing up again to sue. Again damage to the shore and natural habitat and bulkheads.

Continue reading

What restrictions did the county just impose on your property?

Acting on a Sierra Club/Futurewise letter, the County Planning Commission placed 22 additional shoreline properties into a Natural designation.  The  new Natural designation places the highest restrictions on development, among them 200 feet of natural vegetation buffer. County GIS staff has provided an approximate calculation of the 8/21/12 Planning Commission Natural recommendation as follows (SMP Draft Designation Revisions):

  • 185 total parcels
  • 29 publicly owned
  • 156 privately owned

The following Management Practices will be imposed:

1. New development or significant vegetation removal that would reduce the capability of vegetation to perform normal ecological functions should not be allowed.

2. Single-family residences, roads, parking areas and utility corridors may be allowed as a conditional use only if they cannot be located outside the Natural Designation or shoreline jurisdiction

The 200 foot natural vegetation buffer encompasses 100% of the Shoreline Management jurisdiction depth.

The county has no plans to notify the affected property owners of these new restrictions. Is you property affected? Call or write the County Department of Community Development to find out.

What does the county want for your front yard?

Section 4.3 Vegetation Conservation

Goal 2. Conserve, protect and restore shoreline vegetation to provide for ecological and habitat functions as well as human health and safety. These functions include, but are not limited to, variable shading of the nearshore, food and shelter for terrestrial and aquatic organisms, and slope/soil stabilization.

Policy SH-9 Preserve native plant communities on marine, river, lake and wetland shorelines. In order to maintain shoreline ecological functions and processes, development along the shoreline should result in minimal direct, indirect, or cumulative impacts. This includes:

A. Keeping overhanging vegetation intact along the shoreline edge to provide shading and other ecological functions; and

B. Preserving established areas of native plants and minimizing clearing and grading near bluff edges and other erosion or landslide-prone areas in order to maintain slope stability and prevent excess surface erosion and stormwater runoff; and

C. Designing and placing structures and associated development in areas that avoid disturbance of established native plants, especially trees and shrubs.

Policy SH-10 Shoreline landowners are encouraged to preserve and enhance native woody vegetation and native groundcovers to stabilize soils and provide habitat. When shoreline uses or modifications require a planting plan, maintaining native plant communities, replacing noxious weeds and avoiding installation of ornamental plants is preferred. Non-native vegetation requiring use of fertilizers, herbicides/pesticides, or summer watering is discouraged.

Policy SH-11 Maintaining native or ecologically functional vegetation is preferred over clearing toprovide views or lawns. Limited and selective clearing may be allowed when slope stability and ecological functions are not compromised. Limited trimming and pruning is generally preferred over removal of native vegetation.

Kitsap County Shoreline Master Program May 2012 4-3 DRAFT

Public Testimony to the Planning Commission Is closed. If this is unacceptable to you, contact the County Commissioners.


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Plastic bag bans more harmful than plastic bags.


Across the country, cities are joining the latest environmental trend – banning plastic grocery bags. Concerned about the amount of plastic that reaches our oceans and the impact on wildlife, communities have decided that banning the bags is a simple and environmentally responsible approach. But is it? What does the science say?

The evidence points to the fact that banning the bags may actually be a net negative for the environment, yielding little benefit to wildlife while significantly increasing carbon emissions and other environmental impacts.

Advocates of banning plastic grocery bags often cite impacts on marine life and mammals, but they rarely attempt to quantify that impact. Unfortunately, many attempts to quantify those impacts are simply false or misleading. For example, one city council in Washington state was told “the ecological impacts of this plastic include over a million sea-birds and 100,000 marine mammals killed by either plastic ingestions or entanglement.”

Read more

State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) reforms take effect.

From the Association of Washington Cities Legislative Bulletin for July 13, 2012.  

A major priority for AWC in the last legislative session was achieving reforms to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to help modernize this environmental review statute and make it work better for cities. SB 6406 passed during the special session and included many reforms to SEPA that took effect on July 10. Provisions of SEPA reform include:

Flexible exemption thresholds for minor new construction projects: Certain minor projects are exempted from SEPA review because they will not cause any significant environmental impact. Cities have had the authority to pass an ordinance to extend this exemption to certain larger development activities within a range set by state WAC. SB 6406 requires Ecology to update the rules to increase the ranges of activities that are exempted from SEPA review. Until that rulemaking is completed, the bill provides the authority to cities to utilize the highest optional threshold without having to pass an ordinance and provides a mechanism for cities to go back down to the lower levels if they desire.

Continue reading

When should government “take” private property?

The following is our discussion paper on property rights. It was prepared for the July 12th Growth Management Planning Board meeting. Click the “expanding arrows” box in the lower right corner of the viewer to make the image fill your screen.

Sustainable development will harm health, welfare and nature.

Twenty years ago, the Rio de Janeiro “Earth Summit” proclaimed that fossil fuel-induced climate change had brought our planet to a tipping point, human civilization to the brink of collapse, and numerous species to the edge of extinction. To prevent these looming disasters, politicians, bureaucrats and environmental activists produced a Declaration on Environment and Development, a biodiversity treaty, Agenda 21 and a framework for the Kyoto climate change treaty.

In developed nations, government responses to the purported crises sent prices soaring for energy, increasing the cost of everything we make, ship, eat and do – and crippling economic growth, killing jobs and sending families into fuel poverty. In developing countries, governments restricted access to electricity generation and other technologies – forcing the world’s poorest families to continue trying to eke out a living the old-fashioned way: turning forest habitats into firewood, cooking over wood and dung fires, and living with rampant poverty and disease.

This year, recognizing that people are no longer swayed by claims of climate cataclysms, Rio+20 organizers repackaged their little-changed agenda to emphasize “sustainable development” and the need to preserve “biodiversity.” To garner support, they professed a commitment to poverty reduction, “social justice” and the right of all people to “fulfill their aspirations for a better life.”

Read more of this excellent article
by David Rothbard and Craig Rucker
on the Watt’s Up With That blog.