MARCH 3, 1997
New ordinance levies high fines
Concerned landowners must attend the King County Council committee hearing on a new code enforcement ordinance, with fines of $100-$3,000/day for violating junk car laws or not obtaining permits (Mar. 10, 9:30 a.m., 10th floor, Courthouse.) The highest fines are aimed at those who alter sensitive areas, including steep slopes, stream buffers, and wetlands.
An example of an aggrieved landowner is the Snoqualmie Forest Theater's recent receipt of notice of a $500/day fine accruing until there is restoration of an area cleared by the King County Parks Department which trespassed in order to open a view for users of an adjacent county trail.
Among a number of helpful amendments are those that would:
If you can't attend the hearing, leave a message on the Council's Hot Line, 296-1688. But a crowd is impressive and will affect which amendments are adopted.
- Prohibit more restoration than what's needed for restoration to pre-violation conditions;
- Require notification and discussion prior to receiving the formal document that starts the daily fines ticking;
- Require a written statement why a county person is entering upon property;
- Allow hazard trees to be cut without a permit;
- Require mailed notice, not just posting, for landowners; and
- Allow exemptions from fines for landowner who proves he had nothing to do with the violation.
Maxine Keesling, Woodinville