Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Countdown to CAOmageddon: Flaw #51 - Clear As Hydric Soil

The countdown was temporarily interrupted because of posts associated with alleged wetland excavation/filling by our Council Chair, Patty Miller (see previous two posts and Flaw #48). It appears that she may have been confused about where "possible" wetlands lie on her property.

How could she be so confused? Just because various maps conflict, the opinions of different experts conflict, and her personal experiences and historical uses of her property conflict with the current "possible" designations? Is that all?

Under the new CAO, after she sorts all that out and "knows" where the wetland boundary is, all she has to do is apply the buffer. What could be easier? Looks like some of Miller's wetlands might be associated with streams. Just follow the simple steps in the proposed CAO. Here are a couple of steps excerpted from the Fish & Wildlife Habitat CAO.
Step 3. Determine the width of the water quality-sensitivity buffer using the procedures in SJCC 18.30.150 (Wetlands) and Table 3.6 for 70% pollutant removal and either the normal development or the green development option). The water quality-sensitivity buffer extends landward horizontally from the bank full width of streams (as defined in WAC 222-16-010), and the OHWM for lakes, ponds, and marine shorelines.
Step 7. Buffers, Tree Protection Zones, and Existing Development. Where structures or impervious areas, legally established prior to the effective date of these regulations, encroach into a required buffer or tree protection zone, the buffer or zone shall be modified to exclude the footprint of those structures and impervious areas. Buffers and tree protection zones shall not extend across public roads. For private roads, buffers and tree protection zones shall not extend across the road when the road design, flow of runoff, quantity of traffic, and/or gap in tree canopy result in an area that does not support functions and values of the FWHCA to be protected, as determined by a qualified professional. Structures, roads and impervious areas may be modified, replaced, relocated, or expanded within the development area existing on the effective date of these regulations, in conformance with the procedures and requirements of SJCC 18.30.110.G.
And there are 53 pages that read just like that in only the Fish & Wildlife CAO alone ... full of more steps, flowcharts, definitions, and rules. It reads like the demented science-wannabe stream-of-consciousness ramblings of an OCD ├╝ber-bureaucrat working for the nanny-state from hell.

Environmental protection? I think not. Something else is going on, and it's very very wrong.

It's a matter of time before every one of us gets wrapped up in the same eco-Gordian Knot. Miller's situation isn't so much about Schadenfreude; it isn't gloating; it isn't Vivien Burnett. But it should be a demonstration that all of us will get caught up in this mess, and I don't know why Miller or any other Council person supports the track we're on.

Do I think Miller is killing the planet or doing any serious harm? No, she probably isn't. She might even escape the regulatory red-tape nightmare, but most of the rest of us won't. Of those of us that are caught, only a few will be able to afford the time and money to persevere through the red tape tangle. People will, and are, turning on one another, and the same people who talk longingly about civility are the ones undermining it with their support for unjust, punishing, eco-pointless laws. And our community way of life is paying the price.

Patty Miller ... other Councillors who support this fiasco ... this is your life ... and legacy.


  1. Well at this point, despite her belief that she has all the permits, approvals, King's Seals and so forth to do what she is doing ...

    All she can say is that she believes she is OK with doing what she is doing. She does not know. Here comes the carnival of mirrors called Belief Based Buffers.

    Otherwise, I believe she would say she knows, and state exactly why she knows.

    For the time being, she is not saying that.

  2. As you say, I find it incomprehensible that any elected council; member would and does continue to support with yes votes to these ridiculous regulations that support only one thing, To make human life impossible in the form our forefathers fought the first war in this new country to protect the autonomy of the people.
    And in direct opposition to the demands of the comprehensive plan that stands for the citizens of this county with total disregard of the strictest scrutiny of these regulations.

    The strict scrutiny standard is the most thorough analysis.
    The purpose, objective, or interest being pursued by the
    government must be "compelling". Also, the means to
    achieve the purpose, objective, or interest is reviewed to
    determine if it is "narrowly tailored" to the
    accomplishment of the governmental purpose, objective,
    or interest. There must not be any less restrictive means
    that would accomplish the government’s objective just as well.
    The citizens of this county deserve the continued opportunity to continue to protect and cherish the environment in reasonable ways using reasonable rules and using only, laws that respect the respect that the citizens “Have” in doing so.
    These deliberations undermine any reasonable Social Contract and the legitimacy of the authority of the government over the individual.
    The idea that citizens cannot be trusted to care for their private property has repeatedly been shown to be ass backwards in the Tragedy of the commons
    More imposing regulation only brings blight.
    However I strongly suspect that is the end game anyway, since that is the way to begin to withdraw population from these rural areas anyhow.

  3. Could an Initiative be used to repeal the CAO, or modify sections of it? Or is the CAO some protected class of laws, under the GMA, immune from citizen modification? The only way to survive this crash is to avoid it in the first place!

  4. San Francisco is currently considering allowing developers to build apartments as small as 220 square feet. Some want it as small as 180 square feet. This is the Progressive/Liberal/Leftist utopia. If you live in a rural area, on 10 acres, and drive any kind of vehicle, you are the enemy. Your future is one of those SF hellholes and public transportation. And you should be thankful that your lifestyle is under examination, and likely extermination. I assume the FOSJ believe they will be left behind as caretakers of the SJ National Monument after the last refugees are loaded onto the Ferry in 6x6 military trucks for the great relocation.

  5. This is really important to understand, and to pass along.

    The CAO CANNOT be over-turned by local referendum. The courts have ruled on this.

    This is because the CAO is mandated by the state legislature, which in its infinite mercy has so allowed local governments to enact them. But because the basic CAO requirement is a creature of state law, a local citizen referendum (allowed here under our Charter by the way) cannot over turn it.

    Understand how important it is to deal with this monster now, before it is enacted? Understand why outside interest and the Friends are pushing so hard?

    Once it is enacted, the only way to deal with it is in pieces taken to court. Or, pretty much.

    That said, a new Council can deal with this thing and dial it back to some extent. But if the current Council passes it into law in 2012 it will be REALLY HARD for a new Council with a different group of members to turn back the tide.

  6. This is where the rubber meets the road. The above post is correct. Like many, I thought...no problem, we'll just throw the bugger out with a representative county council (currently only Rich Peterson is even remotely connected to his district)...no no can't do it.

    It may take a zip tie on your wrists, it may take a day in jail. But this current CAO MUST NOT BE PASSED!!!