There are many big, important points made, but I think my favorite is a sublime point about the Comprehensive Plan. Mackie alludes to the fact that our proposed CAOs are in conflict with County zoning. For example, the Land Use Element to our Comprehensive Plan says the following about "rural lands."
Goal: To maintain and enhance the rural character of the County. Rural lands are intended to retain the agricultural, pastoral, forested, and natural landscape qualities of the islands while providing people with choices of living environments at lower densities or use intensities than those in Activity Centers. Rural lands also include the Special Districts, which are discussed further in Section B.2.4.And it says the following about "resource lands" (i.e., agricultural and forestry land).
Goal: To recognize and protect the physical conditions and characteristics of agricultural and forest resource lands which are conducive to the use of such lands for long-term commercial production.And it says the following about "conservancy land."
Goal: To protect, conserve, and manage existing natural conditions, resources, and valuable historic, scenic, educational, or scientific research areas for the benefit of existing and future generations without precluding compatible human uses.As you can see, the goals for our zoning include "use," "choice," even "enhancement" of our country way of life (i.e., "maintain and enhance the rural character"). Not even "conservancy land" requires restoration or a return to pre-existing conditions. It requires only protection of "existing natural conditions."
Lands have to be zoned as "natural" before preference is given to native plant and animal species.
Goal: To preserve indigenous plant and animal species and ecosystems in a natural state for the benefit of existing and future generations.How on earth does the Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan square with the County's ambitions for the proposed CAOs? The answer is that they don't square, and the CAO effort is unmasked for what it really is: an attempt to re-designate property as "natural" via the back door, taking away legally zoned uses in the process. The CAOs are a heavy-handed overlay district that obliterates the underlying zoning.
Mackie points out:
But a review of the present master program shows that none of the Taggares properties are designated natural. Rather they are urban or rural, both of which reflect active development and use, which is the antithesis of a natural or critical area.Sometimes a couple of sentences can say so much, such as pointing out the gulf of inconsistency between our CAOs and the controlling document that is supposed to govern them, the Comprehensive Plan.