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SubjectGMA Hearing Board in Friday Harbor to Hear County CAO Review on June 24-26

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Saturday, 01 June 2013


Dear San Juan County Neighbors and Friends,

GMA Hearing Board to Review County CAO on June 24, 25 and 26 in Friday Harbor
CSA was one of five entities to petition the state’s Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB) in early February for review of San Juan County’s Critical Areas Ordinances (CAO) adopted on December 3, 2012.
Since those filings, CSA has been working closely with our attorney, Sandy Mackie, of the Perkins Coie law firm.  Our work during the past four months has included attending a prehearing conference in Anacortes with the 3-person Hearings Board, a comprehensive review of the County’s 35,000 page electronic record filed with the Board, filing numerous dispositive motions and three rounds of prehearing briefs—the last of which, in response to San Juan County and the other Petitioners, was filed yesterday (5-31-13).
Petitioners who asked the GMHB for a review of the CAO are the Common Sense Alliance, the P.J. Taggares Company, the Friends of the San Juans, the San Juan Builders’ Association and Wm. H. Wright.
The prehearing briefs filed yesterday by Petitioners CSA, Taggares, Friends and Builders, can be read at this link on the CSA website in the Legal Section of our Library.  Click here.  [Note:  The website files the documents in descending order—the most recent are found at the top of the page.]
The Growth Hearings Board will hear this matter in Friday Harbor in the Council’s Chambers in the Legislative Building, 350 Court Street, commencing at noon on June 24, at 9 AM on June 25, and again on June 26, if necessary.  You are welcome to attend.  The GMHB decision will be rendered by September 6, 2013.
CSA believes that three of the CAO Ordinances (General, Wetlands and Fish and Wildlife) interfere with the ability of the County to achieve the goals of the GMA and are asking the GMHB to declare them invalid under the revised code of Washington. [RCW 36.70A.302(1)(b)]
As one can imagine CSA’s legal bills have been significant and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.  We are most grateful to those of you who contributed to the first six months of our expenses.  THANK YOU!
Furthermore, we are pleased to say that you have enabled CSA to exceed our 6-month goal of $75K, although our legal expenses for the first six months also exceeded our projections.  Now, we must ask for your assistance in meeting those obligations and begin funding the next six months.
Our revised fundraising goal for the remainder of 2013 is $100K.  These funds will sustain CSA’s efforts to appeal this case to the Superior Court (a very likely possibility), and at the same time continue to employ Sandy Mackie to monitor and comment on the Shoreline Management Program update (SMP), (now before the SJC Planning Commission, working its way to the County Council). We cannot take these steps without your support. Your timely contributions will enable us see these matters to a successful conclusion.
We are grateful for your generous and ongoing support, which has enabled CSA to become a powerful voice speaking on behalf of San Juan County citizens for more than four years. 
Thank you once again!
Common Sense Alliance
By the way, you may be interested in other pertinent legal actions being taken against San Juan County in which the Common Sense Alliance is not a party:
1.  Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR) sued the County late last year for violation of the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA).  The judge recently granted the County’s Motion for Summary Judgment.  CAPR has filed a Motion to Reconsider.
2.  Citizens of San Juan County filed suit against the County early in 2013 to return the San Juan County districts back to six as established by the original Home Rule Charter.  This action would overturn certain amendments to the Charter which were approved in the November 2012 election.  The Supreme Court of Washington will hear the Case in September 2013.
Common Sense Alliance
P.O. 1249 Friday Harbor, 98250

Common Sense Alliance (CSA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization based in San Juan County.  CSA depends upon individual donors to support its efforts in your behalf.  Funds provided by you are used to retain outside legal counsel, subject matter experts and to pay other expenses necessary to fund these activities.

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