Sunday, June 10, 2012

We're Not Alone

Citizens in many parts of the State are having the same troubles that we're having with the CAOs and SMP. For a glimpse at another community, have a look at our neighbors in Kitsap County. There are some terrifically smart, reasonable people in Kitsap County. They should be listened to.

Follow this link.


  1. This is very good stuff, and sounds strangely familiar.

  2. Yes, this is being built into the laws of San Juan County. We are told it is no big deal, don't worry about it. Just a little update to a really old enforcement ordinance. Look, what do we want local law enforcement to focus their very limited resources on? Meth labs? Or whether your child dug a garden too close to a possible wetland?

  3. Building code violations and land use violations are already criminalized in our county. They have chosen not to go down that path for enforcement.

    Read CH 18 and 15 of the code and you will see this.
    18.100.40 (C) for continuing violations and 15.04.90 for building.

    I support the battle you are waging against the CAO rules, but the discussion makes it sound as if they are just now trying to create criminal penalties. Those provisions have been on the books for ages. The key is who is in office or department head positions and if they will pursue criminal charges. To date they have not.
    We are all probably wary that under the old (R.H @ CDP) may have been headed that way, but our efforts were successful in running him out.

    I want to keep the debate on our side honest so we can not be accused of misleading anyone.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  4. Thanks for the comments and information.

  5. Speaking as a member of the Whatcom County Planning Commission,I can state that we'd kill for the quality of comment received in Kitsap county. We're under a constant onslaught from the left: one appeal of the comp plan after another, especially concerning the Rural element.

    That said, CAO and Comp Plan revisions are coming up, and we're working to reform the culture in Whatcom County PDS, where they've never seen a puddle that shouldn't shut down a project, whether or not the science supports the action.

  6. Would be very interested in a link to the Rural Element of Whatcom County's Comprehensive Plan. Don't believe San Juan County has a Rural Element. In any event, there have been changes in the code enforcement ordinance of SJC in the past year. The question of priorities of what to enforce is very important. We have a different sheriff now. Things tend to change unless the policies defining priorities are made clear and aired out publicly.

  7. There have been PROPOSED changes in the code enforcement ordinance. It is still at the first levels of planning commission.


  8. Thank you, TH, for this very well written and informative blog, and thanks also to those who have taken the time and effort to add comments. Its all great stuff, and I genuinely hope there is a wide and growing audience.

  9. The notion of such change to law being proposed with the characterization above that they are being 'built into' the ordinance are not incompatible.

    More can be learned about these proposals in the FOSJ by downloading their 2011 Annual Report. They lay out their underlying strategy, intention and thrust. These proposals are usually strategic in nature and not fixed to any one particular instrument. The advocacy behind the scenes is well funded and patient. It presumes their desired outcomes will eventually prevail one way or the other. The notion of a proposed change is some respects just seen as a minor delay, an inconvenience in the face of the inevitable. That is how the world works.

  10. The best rulers are scarcely known by their subjects;
    The next best are loved and praised;
    The next are feared;
    The next despised:
    They have no faith in their people,
    And their people become unfaithful to them.

    When the best rulers achieve their purpose
    Their subjects claim the achievement as their own.