March 31, 2006 the County and Friends of the San Juans sponsored a one day seminar on updating critical areas ordinances. Speakers included representatives of State and local agencies with relevant expertise.Back then, the County didn't even try to hide their association with the Friends. They openly memorialized it in their plans. These days, instead of showing joint advocacy with the Friends, the County prefers to practice virulent dismissiveness of everyone else. No matter what the criticisms of the prospective CAOs, the Council just presses on, ignoring it all. They put their heads down and hope for the best.
For example, the Council has not considered the Minority Reports of the Planning Commission, and doesn't appear to have any intention of doing so. Perhaps that's because the Minority Reports have been just as critical of the CAO process as the CAOs. For example, the Minority Report for the Fish & Wildlife CAO section drew the following conclusions.
- Public participation in the Planning Commission Process was suppressed.
- The end result was a foregone conclusion.
- No consideration was given to potential economic consequences of the FWHCAO draft.
- The positions reflected in the Planning Commission draft are based on invalid analysis and legal conclusions.
- The Planning Commission draft applies buffer restrictions in a manner inconsistent with and unsupported by the BAS that has been adopted for the CAO review.
- The Planning Commission draft imposes restrictions on land use that are inconsistent with the GMA requirement to protect rural character.
- The majority approach makes it impossible to monitor compliance with the no net loss criterion.
- The majority approach improperly cuts corners just to get it done.
The report ends with the following statement:
The oft repeated shibboleth that "this will all have to be worked out in court" since "the county will be sued no matter what" is no reason for failing to conduct the difficult analysis required by the WAC and consistency with the GMA and the Comp Plan.
The Minority Report is just one more indication that the County isn't even trying to get it right anymore. The Council is just going through the motions to get the CAO passed, and they no longer give a damn.