Dear San Juan County Neighbors and Friends,
This is a reminder that the County Council will host a Critical Area Ordinance Public Hearing this coming Tuesday, February 4th beginning about 9:15am in the Legislative Building (Council Chambers) in Friday Harbor to discuss the adoption of the DOE Wetlands and Critical Area buffer system. This buffer system replaces the site specific buffer system passed by the County Council in the December of 2012 Critical Area Ordinance.
The brief of the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF)
filed recenty in the case of Common Sense Alliance, et al. v. the Growth Management Board
, 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. Since 2009, CSA has been asking the County to please identify the problem the imposed buffers will solve. Still, we do not have an answer.
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).
Help CSA get the word to the Council that they are not addressing the real issues in the Critical Areas Ordinance that make it unmanageable, unaffordable, and unenforceable. Attend the hearing and make 3-minute oral comments and/or communicate in writing to your Councilman. Written comments to the Council must be received by 1pm, Monday, February 3, 2014.
Common Sense Alliance