Monday, February 10, 2014

Deja Vu All Over Again

Tomorrow morning (February 11, 2014) at 9:15, the County Council will take public comment on the latest draft of the CAOs. This Council has decided to go forward by going backwards ... in all senses of that word. This Council has decided to proceed with yet another new CAO despite still-pending litigation on the last version.

This Council's CAO work has been so unoriginal that they haven't even mustered the creativity to make their own mistakes. They are recycling a CAO framework first thought up, and then rejected, by Shireene Hale and the previous Council years ago. It's not simpler. It's not better. It's not newer.

The new old version is currently planned for enactment by the end of March.


  1. TH you are correct. We're back to the future June 2009 Critical Area Ordinance. All the work of the citizens and the county is for not with the new "old" CAO, where S. Hale said the "critters eat first."

  2. Amazing. Rick Hughes and Bob Jarman have sucked up close to $100,000 each in pay and benefits this past year and accomplished absolutely nothing. (No one expected anything from Jamie.)

    Was an original idea ever presented? Was there ever a motion prepared that stepped into new territory? Hells bells, was there ever a motion not prepared by staff from either of these two?

    So what's amazing? Only that these two walk around and don't get spit on.

  3. What's the price tag so far? My God just imagine what the Brickworks and Madrona Institute could do with that kind of money? It seems so unfair.


  4. Sting's extraordinary rendition of Zappa's Idiot Bastard Son. I dunno. Somehow it just seemed to fit the circumstances. I guess.

  5. You think that one's good (and it is!) imagine Annie Lennox for a public access rant at this Craven Cowering Clowncil

    I'm asking you sugar would I lie to you!

  6. "It's Chinatown, Jake."

  7. Why do we need more and more of these senseless ordinances and regulations we do not have the resources to enforce and which only erode our civil liberties?

    "In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous."


  8. @8:02am

    More ordinances and regulations issue forth because of the belief structure of the people issuing them. FOSJ pushes for more control of your life because they believe that you make the wrong choices. You choose to expand your house. This kills the eel grass and melts Greenland. You should have chosen to permanently close off two rooms of your house, and not heat nor light them. You won't do this voluntarily, therefore, you must be coerced. You might make more money then your neighbor. You might not give your "excess" income to someone else. This is the wrong choice, so you must be coerced. They believe that you are insufficiently motivated to sacrifice yourself for utopia. They will fix that, through the legislative process, and the men with guns!

  9. "Throughout history, no tyrant ever rose to power except on the claim of representing the common good."

  10. CAO was discussed in Council meeting this am. Sense of resignation from Rick and Jamie. Several times a question from Rick resulted in, "the only way through is to adopt DOE language". No real push back except on "no reasonable alternative" clauses. Planning's position is if there is "no reasonable alternative" then there is "no permit". End of story. Public testimony highlight was the arrogance of Kyle Loring who proclaimed that "he is not confused" by wildlife buffer rules. States that there is no BAS to support buffer averaging. Wants big fixed buffers, no exception. Supports "reasonable use" as long as it is his definition of reasonable.

    We need jihad against FOSJ.

    Planning responded to John Evans comment that "an actual trial run of the permit process" was not part of the project scope of work. In other words, the complexity and reasonableness of the CAO is irrelevant. Words which protect wetland values and functions on paper are the only requirement.
    Reality is irrelevant.

    The people are irrelevant.

  11. Kyle Loring is beginning to piss me off. Congrats Mr. Loring, you piece of human garbage.

    Here we have a "mail box" level lawyer making policy for SJC. Only county staff ranks at a lower level as they lap up on the stupidity of taking the published easy way out.

    The twerps we call councilmen...cannot get a PG rating.

    (Nice try, John Evans, at presenting a reasonable and thoughtful alternative process.)

    To the BARRICADES!

  12. Congratulations voters 42.54% turnout. Democracy in action.

    You know why levys are run through on a special election cycle in an off year? The oldest game there is.

    School construction levys passed with strong support. That EMS levy, not so much ... a clear win but much narrower spread. You can see the concern. This concern will grow. No wonder they wanted the permanent levy now.

  13. Our county leadership. Bob has been in the hospital, Jamie has been in Olympia and Rick? I guess their paychecks keep clearing, otherwise they would stop showing up for their jobs.
    Mean while Kyle pushes thru regulations with no opposition.

  14. I suspect some people have been lulled into a false sense of security by the belief that the CAO permits "current use and activity" on their property to
    continue. Let's look at the language:

    "Uses and activities may be continued, replaced with other uses or activities, or relocated, provided, any required project or development permits are obtained, and there is no increase in the magnitude of adverse impacts to water quality or the functions and values of critical areas. Relocation of any use or activity in this area shall be reviewed as a provisional use."

    The loophole is "...provided...there is no increase in the magnitude of adverse impacts to water quality or the functions and values of critical areas."

    This means the FOSJ can cause you all sorts of misery by claiming that your house lights are
    irritating the amphibians, that putting new gravel on your driveway is increasing runoff to the
    wetland (which you didn't even know existed), or that your dog is pooping within 1000 feet of a
    Peregrine Falcon nest and impacting the bird's feeding area! They will now be able to mess up the lives of easily 50% of the parcel owners in the County with an endless flow of complaints about so called "safe" existing uses. After all, our very existence degrades the values and functions of the wetlands.

  15. Thank you so much for the update on the meeting. Wish I could have been there.

    When I think of the FOSJ I no longer think of environmental idealists. I think more of a group of people paying themselves very well and basking in their own perceived glory of righteousness. Just sickening. Very ego centered quest they are on.

  16. @ 8:21 am said: "After all, our very existence degrades the values and functions of the wetlands."

    No no no ------ there's a very important exception to that. If you're one of the rich 1% friends from Seattle of FOSJ, then your existence not only doesn't degrade the values/functions of the wetlands, it brings a sparkle to the eye every every sad face that is fortunate enough to be blessed with your presence. Why, I keep photos of a couple of them on the stand next to my bed so that I can start each day by gazing on such perfect countenances. Right before I head out to the stables to feed the unicorns.

    To make it sound like FOSJ has any bedrock environmental principles is to overlook the truly sordid aspect of their existence - Buffum & Co have figured out an extremely lucrative shakedown operation. Their bedrock principle is that they have no principles - Stephanie and sleazy Kyle are literally for sale. If you're a rich Seattle/Bellevue weekender, you can expect their undying support (for a price). If you're not a rich Seattle doctor or lawyer, Buffum & Co have exactly zero interest in you. If you're a rich Seattle doctor or lawyer, FOSJ's love of you is conditional upon how you answer the question: "Nice piece of property you got there; be a shame if anything happened to it." The only proper response is: "Hey Steph, how much should my FOSJ contribution be this year?"

  17. @8:21

    I only have to feed my Unicorns when the Rainbow doesn't show!

    However, the CAO scalpel can cut multiple ways. Perhaps some of the Seattle FOSJ weekender-donor houses also degrade the values and functions of the wetlands. Maybe the tennis balls lost in the bushes are leaching PVC molecules into the wetland buffer. Maybe Kwihat (?) should stick some of their "EPA approved" paper test strips into the buffer adjacent to the horse corral and Dresage practice grounds.

  18. none of the worst of the CAO pap could pass any constitutional query, however constitutionality is never any concern in planning.
    reasonable use exception, buffers, and use of tables of allowable activity, that within protected areas of your home or back yard. your home has thus become public property worthy of public protection and enforcement. this as it belies within a newfound buffer. our live have become nonconforming. Reasonability an constitutional protections would ask that no public protections be demanded that are not the least demanding of a citizen "strict scrutiny". maybe this is how Hitler was able to gain so much authority, if the people appear as sheep you can lead them to slaughter. and if those you vote into office to represent you are also sheep the slaughterhouse is in your living room.
    There has never been any discussion concerning the injury to the public this CAO act will have on real people. in fact that discussion has been turned away at every opening. We have been turn on by wolves within our own

  19. @8:21

    How does one prove that there has been NO "increase in the magnitude" of degradation to the quality or values and functions of a wetland, when there has NEVER been established a baseline for these qualities? The ever-clever FOSJ will say absent a measured value, the baseline is zero, so
    ANY activity will by definition degrade the wetland. Nothing but trouble ahead...

  20. "Bastards, every one of them" every one that did, and "Does" not stand up and say NO! I will not allow any unnecessary injury to my fellow man, as an individual worthy of protection.

  21. You gotta be a really good shot to hit a moving target. I don't envy CSA in their efforts to do just that. (I'm speaking corrective lawsuits, not guns.)

    Oh really. I have just been informed there are remarkable aiming devices that can instantly give the lead on a moving target. That's on guns of course.

    OK, how can that technology work on a County Council that can barely get one foot in front of the other. Is there something we can buy these people so they can understand how to shoot back with good aiming and venom.

    A suggested line to staff would be: "We're going to tell you what you will do, and you are going to do it." (A statement overdue by at least a year.)

  22. I'm trying to wrap my mind around how this "wetland delineation" is going to work. I have to hire an "expert" that mets the CAO criteria. This person then mucks through the bushes and figures out where the suspected wetland is on my property. But, is this person a surveyor? Do they put little ribbons on bushes, or drive wooden stakes in the ground? Do I then need to hire a surveyor to translate this delineation onto a legally defensible map? What do I do when FOSJ objects and claims my wetland is not what my wetland expert claims it is?

  23. 'When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.'

    Franz Kafka

  24. And local hack/troll AKA, the Dorf, has reared his politically impotent swollen head once again, shucking and jiving for the local democrat party.
    That's funny. Promoting a "truly progressive platform".
    Oh Dorf. Oh Dorf. How irrelevant Haveth thou becometh? Let me count the ways.
    His public pitch will definitely reduce funding to whatever cause or party he supports.
    Dont. You. Get. It. ?
    The "party" system is the problem.
    Clowns to the left of me, Dorfs to the I am, stuck in the middle.....



  26. The Fed's are accepting applications for a 12 member San Juan Islands Advisory Committee with one space allotted to private land owners.
    Saw it in the sounder.

  27. Rick Hughes has never intended to do anything about the CAO--it's not "his" problem. He went to Friday Harbor and became the lapdog of the management types because they tell him what to do and he likes that.

    The CAO is HARD. But then, when you're getting close to $90k a year from the taxpayers, you can afford to spend some time figuring it out.

    I think we should all show up and ask what the really juicy sentences mean. One by one. And wait to see what Councilman explains them to us.


  28. Sheriff Nou states that Christmas caroling hayrides are inherently unsafe. What can we not do next?
    Next year instead of looking forward to caroling or other events we will be wondering what we are "allowed" to do under the law.
    I am sure that the Sheriffs Department will be offering a hayride safety and certification program to protect us from ourselves.
    Some of our children will be able to tell of the last illegal hayride in the national monument.

  29. Rick doesnot know what the CAO means, he will not understand that in many, even countless ways it causes irreparable harm on the general citizenship of this county.
    The CAO was created with some knowledge "by all" of this fact, however there has never been any defense allowed by the prosecutors on behalf of the citizens. When a citizen moves into county government they are then legally advised by county prosecutors in protection of a county government, which plays adversary to the citizenry
    This very simply is the way it works.

  30. Nice day. Is Spring in the air already? So who, pray tell, planted the Golden Indian Paintbrush in certain places on a well known attorney's property.

    Wish I had stock in Monsanto.

  31. Looking for wisdom, I spent some time looking for precinct voting patterns in Feb 11 vote.

    On SJI, the school measure was as you might expect. Precincts with higher levels of school age children supported the measure more than others, although there was, as expected, general support across the board. (The two precincts with the most kids are Friday Harbor North and South.)

    The EMS thing was a lot harder to sort out. I did expect to find that precincts with higher assessed value, wherein the yearly tax cost therefor can be much more substantial, would have a larger NO vote.

    This assumption only seemed to hold true with San Juan North which voted strongly against the measure. (It should be noted here that the measure obtained a clear majority and only missed the necessary 60% by something under 5%).

    Other higher assessment areas gave no indication of leaning one way or the other, in fact, look for yourself, some areas you would assume would vote no, in fact voted yes.

    New assumptions are needed to be tested.

    One I have had for a long time is; you butter my bread, I pour honey on yours.

    In short, this means that ALL public employees vote yes on anything that funds other public employees.

    But, I am obliged to say, I can't see there would be a lot of public employees living on the West side of San Juan Island.

    Hopefully folks with more longevity can explain the EMS vote better than this attempt.

    As to bias. I voted against the EMS measure for many good reasons, I think, and I also would like to believe islanders who voted for it were simply uninformed.

  32. You know, @ the very least they could demand public defense!

  33. Rick and Bob that is. It is true the county did not launch any legal defense on behalf of potential injury to the people they represent.
    The silly notion by gay lord that reasonable use exception is pure bullshit. Certainly not representing any regard to the folks stuck with a Noxious share of what was held in real property. And after they take 99% of a property's value intrinsic in privacy they allow you to continue to pay 100% in property taxes based on What has been deemed public value

  34. Of course Kyle Loring proclaimed that "he is not confused" by wildlife buffer rules. He'll argue whatever will keep people from using their land. What's funny is that what knocked Lisa Byers out of the race on Orcas--when she made a big show of claiming that she had read the CAO and had no trouble applying them. The room erupts in laughter, and votes for Rick Hughes. Joke's on them.

  35. Jokes on every one of us. Scott may have been the better choice I'm sorry

  36. @8:14
    A chia-pet would have been better.

  37. We all know the CAO's proposed are not only very damaging to property values in many cases a life's net worth, but also, the life style of living on said property.

    I'm convinced, after the sell out by Patty Miller and Bob Fralik, and the continuing disaster we have as our current council, that it has to get personal.

    These people will not understand the impact of the CAO's on all of us until it is impressed on them as individuals.

    They need to be hit first and hit hard.

    Does this guy Jarmin own land? You can bet wife and him are in violation in some way or will be and surely Rick Hughes will be also. Jamie has already demonstrated he clearly knows the rules he votes to support mean nothing to him.

    A little research is in order.

    It has to get personal before these people will begin to understand what the Hell they are doing to all of us.

    Hello neighbors!

  38. Yikes, did someone just say that Scott would have been a better choice than Rick? Ouch. That is knocking Rick to the bottom of the barrel!


    Looks like a good idea to avoid the vicinity of Key Bank on the afternoon of the 21st unless you're current on your rabies vaccinations - 'dorf on the loose. And he'll be plannin' for 2014. If 'dorf is the public face of SJ county democrats, who the F are they keeping in the background? The swag bag for attending the meeting should come with an appointment for therapy and a restraining order.

  40. 2/12 12:04pm bottom and 2/14 11:13pm.

    Spot on! Anyone who has given the CAO's even a brief look knows these new regulations will have a significant negative impact on land values and island economics pretty much across the board.

    The justification for continuing to push ahead has always been this claimed potential for loss of grants from various sources.

    This Council and past Councils have never made any effort to determine which is worse. Loss of grants? Or, loss of economic value caused by unnecessary CAO regulation.

    This really is an important issue. Could it be that we would all be far better off, by divorcing ourselves entirely from the GMA?

    This is what needs a serious look.

  41. Basically, the County does not care if property values fall. Right now, they take in $X million which is derived as y% of a total $Z million in assessed value. Each year, they are allowed to raise X by 1%. Always and forever. They adjust y up or down based on Z in order to fill the coffers with X.
    If Z fell by 2, then y goes up by 2 so that X remains constant. The landowner is faced with an ever increasing tax bill even as his property value falls because 80% of his land is unbuildable because of wetland buffers. The county is immunized against screwing us over. They never ever have to face a serious decrease in property tax revenues. So, no wonder they never studied the impact (on them ) because there is none. They never even understood the question.

  42. Oh they understood it, don't forget, they, don't care

  43. Who nominated these imbeciles anyhow? Or what kind of pills are they being fed? Ok it's clear they are idiots or they are playing as such for something.
    Why on earth would the father of a child sell his soul to the likes of authoritarianism. Once we go down this road there is no turning back. I say we need to form some sort of peace movement, of the human kind. We know our inalienable rights lie within. We cannot let them roll over our place as caretakers. We were handed that authority by a much greater source.

  44. we need to band together to form a counter to enforcement in protection of a mans right to survive upon his land, and to enable him to use just the means at his disposal, regardless of the demands others would place on him. Our fathers managed and grew stronger from that approach

  45. 8:25 that's right, the only reason Rick was elected was because it was thought he would support only reasonable laws, unfortunately Rick never intended to consider what was reasonable, frankly in re to the CAOS he wouldn't know reason if it kicked him in the Face, that is what he has shown. All because he promised Richard Fralick he wouldn't undo the work of the previous council

  46. I was just told by my insurance agent, no way in hell am I gonna get a bond for work undertaken within a critical area buffer. It is simply not reasonable or feasible. So if you think you can get around this thing even with engineering and reasonable use exceptions good luck.
    You might as well write off you losses or go after the county for the taking " and good luck with that"

  47. Have others had insurance problems? I have builder's risk and have had a battle every year for renewal.

    Presently I'm paying, don't faint, $7,000 a year for builder's risk on what the County Assessor claims is a $700,000 building. (Yeah, I'm one of those County despised "owner builders.")

    So we got a $2,200 deposit paid, but insurance inspectors are on the way they tell me.

    Is SJC becoming a "no go" zone for insurers, Mr. Jarman? And yes, if true, it IS YOUR FAULT!

  48. That's the going rate, welcome to contracting owner builder or any other it's expensive, it's worse for contractors.