We need to implement the Critical Areas Ordinances and Shoreline Master Plan update process. We must plan for the effect sea level rise will have on our long-range planning for roads, utilities, and other infrastructure needs.Stephens has a house on the shoreline with at least 200 feet of bulkhead and a guesthouse/studio so close to the shore that it sits over the water at high tide (see photos below). Is this a man we should listen to about sea level rise? Bear in mind, too, that Stephens voted for CAOs that require homes on shorelines to have three different kinds of overlapping buffers to protect fish and wildlife habitat: coastal geologic buffers, water quality buffers, and tree protection zone buffers. According to the CAO maps, Stephens' shoreline is critical salmon and eelgrass habitat. Does Stephens think it's alright for his home (but no one else's) to affect critical habitat with unbuffered development?
The Islands Weekly article further says about Stephens:
He also advocated for permanent protection of the Bureau of Land Management lands in San Juan County and has traveled to Washington D.C. to further the effort.Yes, so concerned was Stephens about the ecosystem here in the islands, that he departed his shoreline multiple-building compound with its 200-foot bulkhead, hopped into his Jaguar X-type (approximately 19 miles per gallon combined), drove to SeaTac by himself, and flew to Washington D.C. (1,793 lbs of carbon emissions per passenger) to personally lobby for the National Monument by rubbing elbows with DC elites. As of yet, there is nothing except carbon emissions (and other hot air) to show for it, but the lobbying continues mightily.
Back here, Stephens claims the County budget has stabilized, and it has -- at historically high levels of debt and near-record levels of expenditures. He says he believes in "providing opportunities for jobs" but the CAOs are replete with some of the cruelest job-killing gotchas ever conceived of by this County.
Stephens uses the tired old canard that has become the favorite catch-phrase of the Friends that "One has to be more careful with an island." When will he start being more careful?
I think we need to be more careful with whom we elect.
|The Stephens compound in Lopez Village with its extensive shoreline bulkhead.|
|The Stephens compound from beach level. High tide is approximately 1.5 feet higher than shown in the photo.|