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<br />Michelle McConnell <br />From:William Wheeler [] <br />Sent:Thursday, May 06, 2010 1:41 PM <br />To:Stewart, Jeff R. (ECY) <br />Subject:Jefferson County Shoreline Master Program <br />Categories:LASMP Public Comment <br />Dear Mr. Stewart, <br /> <br />The following comments are made under the provisions of the public comment period initiated by the <br />Washington Department of Ecology concerning their deliberations on the Jefferson County Shoreline Master <br />Plan (12-7-09 Locally Approved Shoreline Master Program (LA-SMP) and related documents. <br /> <br /> <br />I live at 222 Big Leaf Lane, Quilcene, WA 98376. Use and enjoyment of my land is directly affected by the <br />provisions of the proposed regulation. In addition to residing on the property, I maintain it for sustainable <br />timber production. My property is certified under the American Tree Farm System, and the property is <br />inspected by third party certification foresters every five years to insure that my operation is being conducted in <br />accordance with national and international sustainability guidelines. I am active in family forestry and land <br />stewardship organizations in Washington and Colorado in a range of capacities, and have conducted and <br />published scientific work in the area of low impact family forestry both nationally and internationally. My <br />property reflects my commitment to responsible stewardship. My comments concerning the proposed SMP are <br />based on that background and understanding and are as follows: <br /> <br /> <br />The proposed SMP is first and foremost written to advance a view that property owners are the enemy of <br />1. <br /> <br />environmental protection, not it's advocates. On this presumption, and without either balanced scientific <br />evidence of either general harm caused by the majority of landowners, or specific harm sufficient in <br />extent to erase the good work of the majority of conscientious landowners, the SMP has become <br />excessively restrictive. Compliance has become unnecessarily costly for the average, conscientious <br />landowner, and it sets up an adversarial relationship between the county government and it's citizens. <br /> <br />As an apparent result of believing that landowners are enemies of the environment the SMP has not only <br />2. <br /> <br />become overly complex and difficult for a landowner to understand, it has also relied on coercive <br />language in an attempt to achieve what it can not legitimately achieve under state law. One example of <br />this is the extensive use of the term “strongly encouraged” in the regulation. Use of this term signals to <br />the landowner that he'd better take the “strongly encouraged” action, though he can't be legally <br />compelled to do so. It also gives justification to the county workers involved in the process that they <br />have a responsibility to “strongly encourage” the landowner to do so. In my experience such justification <br />routinely results in delays, erecting of administrative obstacles, and in short, bullying by administrative <br />staff in positions of power. <br /> <br />Another example of the way that the SMP is being used to inappropriately advance an agenda that is <br />3. <br /> <br />neither required nor authorized by state law, is the requirement that developments involving four or <br />more residential units include provisions for public access on private property. The drafters of the SMP <br />clearly understand that this requirement may be an illegal “taking” of private property for a public <br />purpose. They have cleverly crafted the requirement so that it can quickly be withdrawn if challenged in <br />court. This appears to be an attempt to gain public access to private property without reimbursement of <br />the landowner, impose upon the landowner the legal cost of protecting his rights under the state <br />constitution if he wishes to exercise those legitimate rights, and at the same time protect the county from <br />the financial consequences of a questionable regulatory action. Landowners should not be forced, by <br />their county government, to protect their rights in court when it's obvious from the outset that those <br />rights will be violated by the regulation. <br /> <br />1 <br /> <br />