The count is in:
Citizens' critical areas code repeal initiative is headed for
Citizen Review Online
Clallam County, WA - July 19, 2001: Sufficient
signatures have been gathered and validated by the Clallam
County Auditor's Office to place the Initiative to Repeal the
Critical Areas Code (Initiative No. 6) on the ballot in November
- a victory for property rights activists.
The initiative was turned in at the Clallam County Courthouse
on July 9th by Bob Forde, a local citizen who spearheaded the
drive to gather the 3,000-plus signatures required to place the
issue on the ballot for the public to decide. He turned in
close to 4,000 signatures, but after discarding illegible,
non-registered voters and non-Clallam County residents'
signatures, there were still more than enough signatures to
|The next step will be to appear before the
county commissioners, who will decide either to accept the
repeal or reject it - in which case, it should be headed
to the ballot box in November. The commissioners have
another option: to generate their own counter-initiative,
which would also go to the voters.
||Bob Forde turns in
signatures on July 9 at the Clallam County Courthouse.
The initiative idea began as a result of Forde's assisting
his brother-in-law, Jerry Levesque, in a battle with the county
over the placement of a trailer on Levesque's land to help out a
disabled, unemployed veteran. The property was deemed a
"critical area" by the county staff, and Levesque was
instructed to remove the trailer and return the property to
"pre-human disturbance" condition , which would have
involved spending thousands of dollars to remove soil and plant
"native" plants. Levesque refused; and requested
Forde's assistance in reviewing the Critical Areas Code to see
what recourse he could take.
After appearing before the Hearings Commissioner to no avail,
and speaking with other landowners who were experiencing costly
and time-consuming problems with the same Code, Forde took the
matter one step further. He researched the Growth
Management Act (GMA), which purportedly "mandated" the
Critical Areas Code, to learn that "a" critical areas
code was required, but not "this" particular one.
The state, in creating their GMA, has very cleverly crafted
the Act to insulate the state against lawsuits by directing the
39 individuals counties that qualify, to create their own CAC,
said Forde. Some counties within the state operate under a
Home Rule Charter (county constitution) which reserve the right
of initiative to the people concerning county ordinances, he
explained. "This is not a state ordinance, as some
have suggested," said Forde. "This ordinance was
generated by the county, and is therefore, subject to repeal by
the citizens of the county."
"This Code is convoluted, extraordinarily harsh on
property owners, and subject to interpretation and enforcement
by unelected, unaccountable staff", Forde stated. He
explained that a main concept of the code is to reduce the
rights of people to live where they'd like to live, or prefer to
live - that is, rural living - and promoting high density urban
living. "This idea harms the environment rather than
helping it, as the planners would have you believe, and
eliminates individual choice".