BIAW wants to join initiative battle over critical areas code

by Sue Forde
Citizen Review Online

Clallam County, WA - Aug. 24, 2001- The court battle begins today - the County of Clallam, along with Protect the Peninsula's Future (PPF), run by Eloise Kailin, and 1000 Friends of Washington, two environmental organizations, versus Bob Forde, one of the citizens who started the Initiative to Repeal the Critical Areas Code. Forde is set to stand "pro se" (defending himself) before the judge today, as he doesn't have the financial ability to hire an attorney.

The two environmental groups have filed an "intervention" motion to the court - which says to the court that they should be allowed into the case against Forde because their interests cannot be represented by the county prosecuting attorney.

Meanwhile, Forde filed a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that the matter is a political one, not a legal one - and further, that he is unable to represent the 3,800 or so individuals who signed the petition.  The prosecuting attorney filed a motion back to the court saying why the case should not be dismissed.

Yesterday, another organization filed an intervention with the court - this time, on Forde's side.  The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) has requested to be allowed in the case, stating that their members have an interest in "preventing injustice to the will of the people to vote to repeal codes that negatively impact land use."  They also say that Forde cannot adequately represent their hundreds of members in Clallam County.

All three intervention motions will be addressed in the courtroom today.  The judge assigned to the case is Judge George Woods; however, he is out of town, and a "pro-tem" judge has been appointed in his place for today's hearing.  The appointee happens to be Gary L. Sund, who was the partner of Chris O. Shea, currently the Clallam County prosecuting attorney.


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