Opinion

New proposal brings fairness to landowners

property rights It was a real eye-opener to listen to environmentalists, etc., testifying in Olympia on HB 2223, the new, carefully-written property rights bill.
   Remember during the R-48 campaign when enviros, et al, agreed there were unjust burdens on property owners, and promising that if voters would reject the poorly-written Initiative 164, they would work with the legislature to bring fairness to landowners?
   Well, one by one, representatives from 1000 Friends of Washington, Washington Environmental Council, League of Women Voters, and the American Planning Association testified against granting any compensation to burdened landowners.
   They said voters overwhelmingly rejected landowner compensation, and that regulators would be intimidated by fear of having to compensate for new regulatory enactments.
   (Some of them suggested faster, smoother permit processing as the landowners' answer, but that's merely a quicker, more comfortable noose around the neck. The end result is the same: death of property rights by government's confiscatory control of private land.)
   Democratic pollster Celinda Lake found that 66 percent of Americans support stronger property rights protections. HB 2223 helps that protection. It is not retroactive, does not cover zoning, and gives a better definition of what would qualify as a government taking of private property.
   Readers should leave VOTE-YES-ON-HB-2223 messages for their district legislators in Olympia toll-free at 1-800-562-6000.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville