Who wasn’t there on the panel to add to the one-sided dialog? The orcas, the eelgrass, the heron, the smelt, the sand lances, the trees, the water, the salmon and more. They couldn't stand up for themselves to protect their lives. They weren’t invited ... All the wildlife is affected by what we humans do. We think we’re just building a house with a great view.” -Vivien Burnett, (7/14/09)You can watch Vivien speaking out against Charles Dalton here. She says:
The main thing I want to say is that we wouldn't be here if Mr. Dalton and his partners had followed the rule of law. We all have to follow the rule of law, and if he did that in the beginning, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.You can watch George Lawson, Friends Board President, speaking out against land use scofflaws here. He says:
It's up to you ... when you see a violation of environmental regulations of the County and as a lover of the environment to assume your citizenship responsibilities and communicate that to the County and follow it up.The newsletter of the Friends has said the following:
Friends staff and board routinely receive complaint calls about potential code violations. Once contacted, Friends helps concerned citizens determine the appropriate next steps and often notify the County and other permitting agencies like the Department of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife, or the Army Corp of Engineers.But I think there is an angle to this story that isn't quite captured by the mere fact that Vivien Burnet said one thing and did another. From about 1999 until 2006, the CAO-like controversy of the day was the unfolding ADU/guesthouse fiasco. The Friends led the fight against guesthouses, apoplectically shooting down opposition with withering eco-sanctimonious criticism. They lectured; they postured; they alarmingly claimed we would "double the density," and the Friends newsletter bandied about population projections that said our county population would soar to as much as 57,000, although currently we have only about 16,000 people on approximately 17,000 parcels.
San Juan County Community Development and Planning Department and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office are working on a ticketing ordinance for land use violations. The goal of the ordinance is to prevent violations, and recover the cost of enforcement when action is necessary. Penalties are seen as one of the most effective prevention tools.
Back then, county residents even voted 73.5% in favor of guesthouses, a level of approval equaled only by initial support for the Land Bank. Nevertheless, the Friends maneuvered legally. They sued. They filed with the Growth Mangement Hearings Board. They asked for compliance orders. They won. They rammed the law restricting ADUs/guesthouses down our throats. That law, more than any other law to date, should probably bear the honorary title, "Friends of the San Juans Land Use Prohibition Law."
Yes, given her position, I believe it is hypocritical for Vivien Burnet to deliberately violate a land use law. Yes, it is hard for me to believe that the rest of the Friends didn't know about it, especially when they seemed to be very good at surveillance against Charles Dalton.
But Vivien Burnett didn't just break any old land use law. She broke THAT law, the ADU/guesthouse law. That takes it way beyond hypocrisy into its own separate realm of Shakespearean duplicity.