We've heard some candidates say how much easier the new CAOs are, but that's not how it appears to people who have attended the workshops. In a letter to the Journal, Paul LeBaron has captured in a nutshell how "easy" our new system is.
The CAO will certainly create several high paying jobs throughout the county. The new Pre-Application Evaluation Questionnaire has 24 technical questions and costs $400 to file. The $400 fee will be the least of your worries, since you will probably need to hire a surveyor, geologist, biologist, land use attorney, and wetland expert if applicable. This will become more difficult if you are within the shoreline.
Once this form is completed you can turn it into the county for review. If by chance their experts agree with your experts, you are ready to go back to the planning department to fill out the Land Use Pre-Application Evaluation Worksheet. This is a 6-page questionnaire with 78 technical questions to be filled out by several of your highly paid consultants.
Couldn't be easier! Just do all that, and faster than you can say "Kyle Loring," you'll be on your way to the next phase of your project -- confronting a Hearing Examiner challenge by the Friends. Ahh, the good life.
But really, it's better, just listen to the candidates. The CAOs are logical, and I guess some people aren't frightened by unbridled regulatory discretion.