Northwest NEWS

March 6, 2000

Editorial

Concerning a property owner's 'right' to do what they wish with their property

   If you are proposing to perform an activity on your property that adversely affects my property value and threatens my sole water source (my well), then no, you do not have a "right" to perform that activity. That is basic real estate law.

   But the issue goes beyond simple individual property rights. Time was when a property owner could do pretty much as he or she wished and cause little overall environmental damage. After all, there was so much land and water, who'd notice if an ecosystem or two was destroyed? But those days are gone.

   Now, property use that involves a large scale project, like this [proposed] quarry, has become a community concern, because it is the community that must pay the cost for these projects in terms of environmental degradation, noise, loss of wildlife, and crowded roads, all contributing to a diminishing of the quality of life for the whole community. The enrichment of the individual property owner can no longer be the sole determining factor. When a major ecosystem like the Snoqualmie River Valley is endangered by such a project, then it becomes the concern of a much broader community; the entire State of Washington is impoverished by the loss of such a resource.

   This project is ill-conceived. The rezoning to accomodate this quarry should have never occurred. Now that it is in the process of official consideration, however, it is up to the citizens to voice their opposition and concern.

   I am a member of Friends of Cherry Valley. We seek to present a united front to our elected officials against this quarry. I urge you to support us. Contact us at: www.cherry-valley.net.

Bill terKuile, Monroe