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SubjectPacific Legal Foundation Files Brief with County Today
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Wednesday, 22 January 2014


Dear San Juan County Neighbors and Friends,

The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) has today filed an Amicus Curiae Brief with the San Juan County Superior Court in support of Common Sense Alliance (CSA) and P.J. Taggares' challenge to the Final Decision and Order of the Growth Management Hearings Board.
The brief is one of those rare legal documents that is easy to read, relatively short, and tells the story without the need for a dictionary and a J.D. degree.  It says, in no uncertain terms, that the water quality buffer regime that is fundamental to the San Juan County Critical Areas Ordinance passed in December 2012 creates an unconstitutional burden on the development of property.
The brief takes the reader easily through the concepts of “essential nexus” and “rough proportionality” which have been found by the United States Supreme Court to mean that there must be a relationship (nexus) between an identified problem (e.g. pollution) and a proposed solution (buffers); and that the proposed solution imposed by government must be roughly proportional to the extent of the impact of the identified problem.
PLF’s brief makes it clear that the water quality buffers in the CAO are imposed without regard to an identified problem or the extent of any development (no nexus) and the buffer sizes are not proportional to the perceived harm or impact (no proportionality).
This clear, concise brief deals with one of the CAO challenges that CSA has raised.  If you desire to understand CSA’s entire case, please read Sandy Mackie’s primary brief.
We are fortunate to have the help of an appellate group like Pacific Legal Foundation. It could cost a fortune for an individual property owner to resolve these constitutional issues in order to build their home near the shore of our islands. We are in this fight because we feel that it is the right thing to do. Now, more than ever, CSA needs your financial support. Please mail your tax-deductible donation to the following address:
Common Sense Alliance
 PO Box 1249
 Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Common Sense Alliance
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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