We have some very smart, caring citizens in these islands. Here's a letter from one of them.
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 9:46 AM
To: Patty Miller;
Subject: CAO /Shoreline
My father bought 5 waterfront acres in West Sound on Orcas Island in 1956. Our family is trying to keep the property going as best as we can.
Not sure how much longer we can hold on, due to taxes and yearly upkeep expense. We have turned it into summer rental, but, sadly that is the time our family would like to use it, best time of the year. Other than few storms over the years blowing trees down, nature's way, and a new septic tank, there have been no changes. My father had great respect for his property and we have continued his love and care for the property.
The idea of the labels put on property, locations of homes, conforming, non conforming, etc. is very worrisome. Also, I will mention the severity of wetlands regulation since we have many friends on the island who have wetlands running through their property.
These people, our long time friends, are turning gray over the stringent regulations.
The regulation if a property owner wants to remove a tree that is within a 200 ft. range from shoreline, or plant a garden, he or she will have to get a permit, is another beyond restrictive measure. Also if one wants to open up a shoreline view, restrictions are numerous. I will add buffers, bulkheads and the list goes on. The people who live in the islands are not abusive to their properties. They are proud of what they have bought, have maintained over the years and cared about the beauty of what they purchased. When we drive around the islands, we marvel at how little has changed and are happy people have cared for the islands so well for many, many years.
The conceit of the few who ruin it for the many is almost too much to bare. We do not need the Critical Area Ordinance or the Shoreline Restrictions in the San Juan Islands. Do not let the sad scenario of best available science that doesn't even refer to our area, chasing grants and loans, change perceptions of what we are all about and what condition the San Juan Island's are in now and will be for a long time to come. Please do not pull the rug from underneath the old timer property owners and the new comers. We have cared, maintained, put our heart and souls, been proud to live and be part of the San Juan Islands, and lucky as our family has been, to live on Orcas Island.
The people of these islands deserve to be left alone, to continue their care of their property and live their lives in a peaceful surrounding without government officials, more rules and regulations breathing down their necks. Nature has its ways in our islands, our eco system and waterways will survive, without the regulations you are about to put upon us.
Patty, I hope you will stand out from the crowd and vote no on the upcoming Shoreline and CAO vote. Vote with the majority of the people who have worked hard, who have cared for and loved their properties. Who were thankful they could afford to be in a place like the San Juan Islands. Many whom if one talked with, could tell the experts exactly what takes place in our islands eco-system, how they have watched nature come and go through natural phenomenons, none to the detriment of destroying the islands.
As I said before, nature has a way of creating, destroying, and healing in its own time.
May your vote free us from what is about to be put upon us ... this I hope, along with so many other great people in the islands, you will truly consider and cast a no vote.
Thank you for your time, Patty. I will sign off now, carrying great hope in my heart you will be with us.
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