Northwest NEWS

January 14, 2002


Rural landowners will see more lock-up-the-land ordinances

It's abominable that the King County Council Democrats did not give council committee chairmanship to Republicans David Irons and Kent Pullen.
   Last year, under the Republican-dominated council, Democrats Cynthia Sullivan and Larry Phillips were given chairmanships of the two committees most important to rural King County: the Growth Management and Unincorporated Areas Committee for Cynthia, and the Natural Resources, Parks and Open Space Committee for Larry.
   Jane Hague, the new Republican chair of the growth management committee, might as well be a Seattle Democrat for all her Democrat-go-along votes. Dave Irons should have been appointed the growth management chair - he knows the issues. Jane was so otherwise-busy last year that she seldom attended the growth management committee meetings, even though she was vice-chair.
   Well, rural private land owners can look forward to even more lock-up-the-land ordinances that are reducing property use and rights to little more than the right to watch the untouchable brush grow and mail in their ever-increasing property taxes. (Even as they pay the county's Department of Development and Environmental Services $132 an hour, counting travel times, to process permits. Those permits, even for farming and forestry uses, are often so loaded with extortionate permit requirements that the applicants walk away from their money and the process.)
   Maxine Keesling, Woodinville