CSA Asks the State Court of Appeals to Review Judge Eaton’s Decision
Dear San Juan County Neighbors and Friends,
Over the summer, both Sandy Mackie, CSA attorney from Perkins Coie, Seattle, and Brian Hodges, attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation, made personal appearances in Friday Harbor to assist the Common Sense Alliance Board in deciding whether to appeal Judge Eaton’s Superior Court decision on the County's Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO).
“CSA is exactly where you need to be at this point,” said Mr. Hodges, who wrote Pacific Legal Foundation’s amicus brief to the San Juan County Superior Court supporting CSA’s challenge of the Growth Management Hearings Board’s opinion regarding the San Juan County Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO). “With Mr. Mackie’s assistance and guidance, you have taken the required steps necessary to establish an excellent record in preparation for the higher courts.”
Mr. Hodges went on to say, “The Growth Management Hearings Board has only ruled in a handful of instances in favor of citizens, and has no judicial authority. Superior court judges, for the most part, are not prepared nor have the time to research constitutional issues, and most often rule in favor of counties and typically punt such a case to the next level.” This certainly has been true for CSA, as we have worked our way through the preliminary levels of review of San Juan County’s CAO.
Upon recommendations of both attorneys, CSA voted unanimously to take our case against San Juan County to the Washington State Court of Appeals. We believe the issues raised by the County CAO, in setting large buffers over your properties without identifying a problem (no “nexus” to a harm caused, no “proportionality” in the size and extent of the restrictions), are unconstitutional and both CSA and the Pacific Legal Foundation are prepared to ask a higher court for their opinion concerning this unconstitutional “taking.”
CSA’s appeal to the Washington State Court of Appeals was filed on July 23rd, and we await notification of the Court’s schedule for our case.
Lastly, we THANK YOU! Your response to our call for donations to pay our Perkins Coie legal fees was extremely gratifying and so appreciated! Not only were we able to pay our outstanding legal fees through the Superior Court matter, your generosity produced nearly 30% of the fees needed for the coming appeal to the appellate court. Needless to say, we continue to need your help in this vital next step.
Please note that you can make contributions by sending them to Common Sense Alliance, PO Box 1249, Friday Harbor 98250 or by using our PayPal button found below.
Thanks, once again, for your steadfast support!
Common Sense Alliance