CAO overturned: Crackers celebrate countywide

I’m so glad I don’t have to defend that thing anymore:

Rural property owners fighting a King County law that forbids them from clearing or grading large parts of their land won a big victory in the state Court of Appeals on Monday.


A three-judge panel ruled that the ordinance — part of a package of laws aimed at protecting streams and other “critical areas” — is an indirect but illegal “tax, fee, or charge” on development. The Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights and five landowners sued to overturn the law.

Way back when, I lived in the sticks. Most folks I knew were opposed to this on the principle of the thing. They didn’t want to develop their property, but they didn’t want someone telling them they couldn’t.

So for all you tire-burning, car battery dumping-in-the-river, bologna-frying honkeys, this one’s for you:


  1. 1


    Stereotyping rural people as “tire-burning, car battery dumping-in-the-river, bologna-frying honkeys,” is no different than stereotyping inner-city blacks as “chicken-eating, baby-making, welfare-collecting niggers.”

  2. 2

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    That fish looks like it was caught out of season, and the guy holding it looks like a Republican. Just sayin’ …

  3. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @4 The biggest welfare recipients are U.S. corporations. They get 5 times as much government largesse as all individuals put together.

  4. 6

    mark spews:

    Will, I’ll try and explain it to you. Say
    the county won’t let you put up your tent
    on land that you paid for (which we know will
    never happen). You wouldn’t care?

  5. 7


    Stereotypes don’t have to be based in statistical fact. That’s the whole point. And if you’re calling me an idiot for relaying that stereotype, then you’re calling Will one, too.

  6. 8

    ByeByeGOP spews:

    Well now the right wingers can build a Nascar Track, a WalMart and a church in their own backyards – hang a Confederate Flag and fuck their pigs down by the stream. Go GOP!

  7. 9

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    Will spews:
    So for all you tire-burning, car battery dumping-in-the-river, bologna-frying honkeys

    Hey Will, tell us all what it’s like to feel like an elitist?
    Seriously, pretty disturbing you feel safe enough in this public forum to write like that about people that aren’t as smart as you.

  8. 11


    re 9: Marvin, a real elitist is someone who feels no shame at conning the ignorant and credulous out of their hard earned dollars.

    Like George W. Bush.

    As Colbert stated: “What are we gonna do when W’s gone and we no longer have a president with an Ivy League education and a fake southern accent?”

    Who the hell do you think you are defending and representing for, Marvin? I’ve got land — and if I can subdivide it now and make a mint, why the hell shouldn’t I? People like you make it pointless to try to conserve anything because eventually, your kind will always end up getting another opportunity to tear things down.

  9. 12


    Will, didn’t you just have a recent gig where your job was to help garner votes from aforesaid tire-burning, car battery dumping-in-the-river honkeys?

  10. 14

    31st District Voter spews:

    I think it’s hard for King County to have any moral authority here.

    People look around and see (rightly or wrongly) the County okaying huge developments all over East/South KC (Snoqualmie, Maple Valley “doughnut hole” deal, etc) and then turning around and charging folks THOUSANDS (if allowed at all) to clear some blackberry brambles on their own land, for example. There is a way to protect rural land without using this sledgehammer against all rural landowners.

  11. 15

    proud leftist spews:

    Though I resemble some of the guys and love some of the girls in that video, the Court of Appeals decision (which I have not yet had a chance to read in full) appears short-sighted. Rural property owners do not have a right to fuck with water and air quality. We’ll see how the state Supreme Court deals with this decision, assuming King County appeals.

  12. 16

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 I don’t recall calling you an idiot, but thanks for calling that omission to my attention, idiot!

  13. 18

    realitycheck spews:

    This opinion does not remove land use regulations…it stops land theft from the county. Now people can actually walk on their own property without permission from Ron “I am fucking King” Sims.

    Nothing like a bunch of fat ass liberals in Seattle trying to dictate how other people should live their lives. Ron Sims believes he owns the County and Greg Nickels (the single largest carbon foot print in the State) is running a nanny state. Nice liberal hypocrits.

    I’m surprised they didn’t give Darcy the Burner a citation for illegal outdoor burning.

  14. 20


    re 18: Does it stop land theft ‘from the county’ or ‘by the county’? When you drop by to give us a reality check, reread your little screed and check it for rationality before grandly deigning to favor us with your whackadoodle ‘reality check’.

  15. 21

    Mark1 spews:

    Roger Rodent having an opinion on anyone else getting gov’t cheese compares to a KKK member saying he’s not racist, a fart in the wind, YLB being employed, Goldy not jacking off to ditzy Darcy, or Mommy Love peeing standing up. Two or three marbles rolling around upstairs there huh Rodent? They have homes for people like you. Good luck. Now for your next 100 delusional responses….

  16. 22


    It would be nice to have a link to the decision, so we can have some idea what the court said.

    King County was known for being more than just a bit arrogant and inflexible in interpreting the CAO, except, of course, when a large developer wanted to drain a wetland area and pave it over.

    One problem with enacting these laws is that the most vocal proponents are the folks that believe that land ownership should be illegal, and the most vocal opponents are folks that believe that a land owner should be able to do absolutely anything, regardless of what it will do to neighbors, folks downstream, etc…

    There are folks that believe that any sort of land control laws are just a socialist plot from a bunch of latte sipping city liberals.

    And, of course, some folks believe that anyone that doesn’t want to live in a high-rise concrete beehive is just an ignorant, cousin-dating redneck.

    Following the extremes makes for lousy laws.

  17. 24

    Dave Gibney spews:

    Probably should have kept a can of Billy (lousy beer just like all the ‘Beer Beer” knockoffs), might be worth a little on Ebay.

    Skynard was a good band!

  18. 26

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    I’m with Troll @ 1. Calling rural folks “tire-burning, car battery dumping-in-the-river, bologna-frying honkeys” doesn’t do anything except raise the level of animosity between Seattle and the rural areas of King County. Don’t you Seattle people realize the rural people of KC hate your guts? And yes, they don’t like to be dictated to by “a bunch of latte sipping city liberals.”

  19. 27

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Hi John B @ 22: Your characterization of the supporters of land use regulations is dead wrong. My anger meter rises exponentially when the land owners in rural King County whine about “takings”.

    First, I am “forced” (yes, this is a wingnut meme) to pay for highway and other infrastructure improvements that the low density rural population could not conceivably afford (did Enumclaw residents build Hywy. 410 all by themselves?). Then we are admonished for being “socialists” while the rural beneficiaries get to enjoy this subsidy and give us poor urbanites hectoring lectures on ‘freedom’ and ‘personal responsibility’. The unceasing laments from their shy 5 acre bucholic estates is indeed deafening.

    As if that were not bad enough, we then are lambasted for not letting them “develop” their land by subdividing it and selling out, thus directly aiding and abetting the urban-suburban sprawl they so claim to loathe.

    And as a final insult, they call this artificial, socially constructed, willfully short sighted, yet highly subsidized process “creating wealth”.

    The mind reels.

  20. 28

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    The common links characterizing both urban (black ghetto stereotypes) and rural poverty (hillbillies) is social isolation and low income.

    So when your republican acquaintences tell you that redistributing wealth upward is a good thing….give this a little more thought.

  21. 29

    Daddy Love spews:

    You don’t have a right to shit in the streams. Your right to swing your arm ends where my nose begins.

  22. 30

    Puddybud spews:

    PRoudASS@27: You forget it was those rural roads to Enumclaw that bybygoobers Seattle big brother used to visit that horse for a hershey highway packing in Enumclaw and he died from it. So maybe there would be one more liberal to vote Donkey causes if those roads were dirt and full of pot holes.

  23. 32

    Puddybud spews:

    John Borelli, while I commend you on making this a black and white issue I have to disagree with your characterization.

    I should have the full right to use my land which I paid for with my sweat equity any way I choose as long as it doesn’t affect people downstream from me. I could care less what happens up stream because I expect the same of my upstream neighbor. He/she should expect the same of their upstream neightbor. Get it?

    When the government intrudes into my land use then the government is becoming obsessive and intrusive into my private life. If I wanted to build a pig fence and screw pigs like bybygoober did and screws his pigs every day and night as long as he properly disposes of the pig shit without disturbing his downstream neighbors I could care less.

    When the ELF illegally burns down homes and the firemen/firewomen use water and other extinguishing agents to quell large conflagrations, does the ELF care what happens downstream to the fire runoff? I seriously doubt it.

    Why do Northwest cities allow developers to remove large areas of forest timber to expand their tax base do lefties say nothing and agree with them, yet when I want to build a teepee in my backyard or add a deck I need to get a cotton-picking permit when I am not destroying a weed in my back yard? Sometimes these stupid laws make no sense.

  24. 35

    Right Stuff spews:

    I think this boils down to King County way overstepping the mandates of the GMA. Well intentioned? maybe…..Poorly executed? definetly.

    If the county wants to burden/restrict landowners from use, then the county should have to pay..

  25. 36


    re 22: I have noticed for quite some time that you are always an advocate of the middle way. The ‘middle path’ is for some as sacrosanct a highway as the Far Left or Extreme Right is to others.

    The problem with always being an advocate of the middle path is that the far left or far right often have control of the levers of power — so, the middle way shifts not of its own accord, but through fluctuations it can not foresee or control.

    The question then arises: How useful is the middle way in finding a rational course in this world? The answer, I’m afraid, is: not very.

    You end up with ‘moderates’ like Joe Lieberman. I’m sure Sen. Lieberman feels his wisdom and moderation are unsurpassed, and I’m equally certain that if the country swings leftward, so will Joe.

    I’m not sure that I want to hear your milquetoast, middle way speech every time an issue arises. The one thing that the groups you criticise have that you don’t is a clear idea of who they are and where they want to go. Take a stand! Let the Master of the Universe carve a middle way — because we are just not up to the task.

  26. 37


    re 35: Wouldn’t your proposal involve taxing and spending? Also, it would make landowners dependent on government largesse — thereby sapping their ability to be PRODUCERS.

    How about this as a general rule: You can do whatever you want on your land as long as it does not negatively affect your neighbor’s land. That would wipe out a lot of big corporations. They’d have to pay for the damage they create instead of taking it out on the taxpayer.

  27. 38

    ROTCODDAM spews:

    Stereotyping rural people as “tire-burning, car battery dumping-in-the-river, bologna-frying honkeys,” is no different than stereotyping inner-city blacks as “chicken-eating, baby-making, welfare-collecting niggers.”

    ‘Cept for that little slavery thing.

    See that one really sets some “stereotyping” apart.

    Well, hell. Who are we kidding here. Let’s call a “spade a spade” shall we? We’re talking broadly about are ethnic slurs. So while I can call someone a fish-breathed bead twirler, a whiskey soaked, toothless Mick, or a spaghetti bending Wop-Dago, here in the United States, given our historical context, it just doesn’t have the same impact as the “N” word. Which in part means that a black guy can make a fairly descent living in entertainment while regularly using the “N” word, and a white guy cannot. And thanks at least in part to my Morgantown, West Virginia ancestors who kept slaves, I’ll just have to live with that.

    Turns out that things like slavery and The Holocaust really do matter after all.
    Whoda thunk?

  28. 39



    I agree that most of the folks asking for some reasonable restrictions (and yes, that term is subject to endless debate) aren’t trying to keep people from enjoying and using their land.

    But… Having actually attended the hearings for similar legislation down here in Pierce County, I assure you that a number of the speakers actually did make the claim that the land “belongs to all of us”, that land owners “had no rights” and that if regulations made use of the land impossible, that was an outcome to be desired.

    Groups from outside the county actually bussed their members in.

    Of course, we also had a number of people at that same meeting that strongly objected to any regulation whatsoever, including one fellow that was running an illegal dumping facility.

    Only a very few voices came out for the idea of actually trying to take both the environment and the rights of the property owner into consideration.


    You seem to have a problem with the idea of at least considering both sides of an issue before coming to a position.

    On the CAO (the topic at hand) you can avoid the “moderate” position only at your peril. You can side with the extreme, that considers all property to be “a sacred trust for all”, and totally ignore property rights. In doing so, you trample the rights of the people that own the property and pay the taxes.

    Or, you can take the other extreme position, that property ownership rights are “sacred”, and ignore the fact that what one person does on their own property has an effect on others. Ground water doesn’t respect property lines.

    That is the either/or, no compromise, no accomodation position.

    OR you can consider what your ultimate goals are, listen to the legitimate positions of others, and seek ways of dealing with them that also meets your legitimate goals.

    You are welcome, if you so desire, to condemn that way of dealing with problems, however, you are likely to find that being willing to consider other people’s legitimate concerns is more productive.

    Essentially, you can hold your position, not give an inch, and fail, knowing that you refused to compromise. You may feel virtuous, but you won’t get anything done.

    Or, you can decide that most situations are not a zero-sum game, that it usually isn’t “either-or” and actually get something done. In this area, I am taking a stand. I want reasonable regulations that are enforceable and likely to stand up in court.

    The alternatives are either no regulation whatsoever, or nearly complete abrogation of the rights of property owners.

    The fact that the right errs to the point of insisting on absolute freedom to do whatever they wish on their property, regardless of the consequences to others does not permit us to simply ignore the rights of the people that own and care for their property.

    There is no virtue in being wrong on either side of an issue, and from my position, the extremes on both sides are often equally wrong.

  29. 40


    re 39: You seem to have an issue with ONLY regarding two sides of an issue, when the issue may be extremely multi-faceted. I have no problem seeing two sides of an issue. I can evaluate Plato as against Socrates in the light cast by such other luminaries as St. Thomas Aquinas and Reinhold Niebuhr — and all of it moderated and informed by the Duke of Earl (as he wanders through his Dukedom). Nothing can stop him: He’s the Duke of Earl.

    You (very much like the Piper) have the same bad habit of looking down your nose at people who may well be bright enough to be teaching you a thing or two and pulling your leg at the same time.

    Taking a position and arriving at an agreement with those that have opposing views is a process that is muddied and confounded by those who have the PREDISPOSITION to weave a central course through the process.

    Can’t you see how that skews the results?

  30. 41


    Oh, and with thanks to Mr. Stuff, I’ve now had the opportunity to actually read the decision.

    From my reading, it seems that the court found that the restrictions in the CAO were arbitrary, and not based on any particular public need or recognized standards.

    The court did not state that any restrictions would be illegal or improper, just that they had to be appropriate for the situation.

    A simple reading of the CAO tells me that the county went far beyond the demands of the Growth Management Act.

    Please don’t get me wrong here. I’m all in favor of having large areas of land left in a pristine, untouched condition. But if we want certain tracts of land to be left untouched, the reasonable way to do that is to buy it from the property owner, or offer the property owner incentives to comply.

  31. 42

    "Hannah" spews:

    Well I guess calling alot of the wealthy people of King County “rednecks” and God knows what else…shows just how some people here are so blind. NOTE: Woodinville, Redmond, Issaquah, Sammamish (all full of a lot of wealthy people) have much of their cities to be classified as “rural King County” so this stupid CAO affected alot of wealthy people as well.

    If the government is going to tell you not to touch a percentage of your OWNED land, then your property tax should be reduced by the same percentage. What’s the point of owning it and paying taxes on it, if you can’t use it? Might as well subdivide and sell which in turn makes the CAO do nothing to “protect the environment”!

    Also, developers sure get away with the 65/35 rule every single day…look at Maple Valley, Issaquah…..

  32. 43



    No, I’m aware that there are often (usually) more than two sides to any important question. It was your original comment that stated that I always took the “middle path“.

    I do have a “predisposition” towards the idea that there are usually ways of dealing with apparently opposing positions.

    Take the CAO as an example. We all want clean water and available fish habitat. Dumping old car batteries in the creek is not acceptable. Even most property owners won’t disagree, regardless of what Will said in his initial post.

    (Please remember that the implication in Will’s post is that the people that opposed the CAO were “tire-burning, car battery dumping-in-the-river, bologna-frying honkeys.)

    We also have growth issues where the available infrastructure is not adequate for unlimited growth. We cannot simply have people dividing up every five acre parcel into neat little five-to-an-acre lots. Again, most property owners can also see that.

    Reasonable restrictions can be worked out that address all of those issues.

    My observation is, however, that we get into trouble when one or more of the parties has unspoken goals. Many people believe that this was the case with the King County CAO, where the restrictions had little (if anything) to do with the stated goals.

    There is no virtue in taking a position and sticking to it regardless of the facts or the needs and desires of others.

    As to my tendency to “look down my nose” at those that disagree with me, I would propose that I’m certainly no more (although probably no less) guilty of that sin than anyone else here, yourself included.

    Lots of people make carefully considered comments disagreeing with my positions on issues. Even when I don’t change my own, I appreciate them.

    But I don’t often post on issues where I haven’t carefully thought out my position. Often, I find myself posting on topics where I have some expertise (land use, for example).

  33. 44

    Bill spews:

    I ran across this chatter while trying to research the long awaited overturning of King County’s CAO. That ordinance was perhaps the single most compelling reason I moved out of King County years ago and will never go back. Further, I’m a strident supporter of the proposed Cedar County, which would leave the western environs of former King County to wallow in the consequences of its own dysnfunctional tax and spend brand of urban socialism.

    Perhaps the thing that has surprised me the most about the posts above is the apparent number of Communists still among us, despite the proven shortcomings of that failed political-economic system. Some of you should move to Cuba, or perhaps join Hugo at his retreat in Venezuela. Better yet, join the FARC and become narco-terrorists for the “cause”.

    My thanks to Mr. John Barelli, for the only intelligent and informed discourse here.

  34. 45

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Dear John @ 43. You write: “My observation is, however, that we get into trouble when one or more of the parties has unspoken goals. Many people believe that this was the case with the King County CAO, where the restrictions had little (if anything) to do with the stated goals.”

    Which party? What “unspoken goals”? Does this apply to one or both sides of this issue? Does the “belief” of many people make it so? How did the restrictions diverge from the stated goals? As you can see, I got questions, and your post raises more of them than it answers.

    As a member of a more or less toothless Planning Agency in a local municipality in S. King Co., I’ve seen and learned enough to know that land use regulation is very often a zero sum game. Somebody’s ox is gonna’ get gored.



  35. 46

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    @44: Ew! Wow! Calling people ‘communists’, now there’s an argument with real intellectual heft.

    I, for one, am glad you moved out. Please keep your word….don’t come back.

  36. 47

    michael spews:

    I’m all in favor of having large areas of land left in a pristine, untouched condition.

    Judging by the shape eastern King County is in the GMA and the CAO didn’t do much in this regard.

    Yes, I know I’m being snarky and that things could be much worse.

  37. 48

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    John wrote: “There is no virtue in being wrong on either side of an issue, and from my position, the extremes on both sides are often equally wrong.”*

    This is a facile intellectual dodge that verges on pompous rhetorical excess, John. I expect better from you.

    With All Due Respect,


    *(PTBA sarcastic reply: Like slavery? Nazism? Civil Rights? But I jest, perhaps unreasonably. I guess it all comes down to what “some” includes.)

  38. 49

    michael spews:


    From the way I read it, it sounded like he was asking for people to take a pragmatic, centrist position.

  39. 51

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    @49: When John claims “there is no virtue in being wrong”, he is stating the obvious. It is a claim with no content.

    Furthermore, simply stating that the “extremists” are “usually” wrong is equally meaningless.

    I have attended some of these meetings. I saw nobody there who called for the expropriation of rural landownership. However, I did see some really funny maps proposing redistricting the King County Council so that the residents of Black Diamond would have a majority.

    If there are some minor aspects of the CAO that are unjustified, then let us discuss them. Claiming a ‘pox on both sides’ is simply not moving the discussion.

  40. 52


    John Barrelli: My point is that either extreme or any point in between on this or any other issue is in favor of, in this case, ‘reasonable restrictions. To come in to an argument and declare that you are for a ‘reasonable’ solution means nothing. It’s like saying that you ‘support the troops’> Guess what: Everybody supports the troops and wants reasonable solutions.

    Your attitude seems to be that since you have declared yourself to be in favor of resonable solutions, then YOUR solutions are the reasonable ones. You say you are ‘in the middle’, but I see that you lean to the right.

    So, oftentimes I will reject your solution — even though you pronounce them to be reasonable.

    You have no lock on reasonable.

  41. 53

    michael spews:


    Much better said then in your earlier post and now I’m thinking I should be on your side. ;-)

  42. 54

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    @30, 31: Puddbutter is inchoherent as usual. Can anybody read those two posts and figure out just what the fuck the point, if any, was?

    Other than his usual display of stupidity. That’s been brought up before.

  43. 55


    Mr. Fisherman:

    Odd, most of my collegues consider me something of a lefty. Of course, around here anyone to the right of Noam Chomsky is considered right wing.

    On to the point at hand. Of course I think my solutions are reasonable. If I didn’t think so, I would change them.

    You (and others) are welcome to disagree, and I love a good debate. It’s the only reason I put up with the snipes from both the right and the left that I get here. A few posters are actually willing to debate issues.

    (Just so that we’re clear. I do not consider rude comments about my family to be “debate”.)

    Anyone debating me will find that I hold the leadership of both parties in rather low regards, and while I rarely find myself voting for a Republican, and continue to be an active volunteer for the Democratic Party, I refuse to go along with the line that simply because a person is a Republican, they are automatically both wrong and evil.

    (The current President of the Pierce County Mainstream Republicans is a friend of mine, and we’ve spent some interesting times debating politics. She’s a neat lady, a former kindergarten teacher and for 16 years, was mayor of Gig Harbor.)

    Those folks here that demand ideological purity will find that my positions are often not to their liking.

    On this topic, I’m probably somewhat to the right of most posters here, simply because I have a strong belief in personal property ownership. My basic position is that if you buy it and pay taxes on it, you should be able to use it as you see fit, unless your use will directly harm your neighbors.

    Hence, dumping batteries in the creek can be forbidden, because other people are downstream. Chopping up those five acres into fifty building lots can be forbidden, because the infrastructure won’t handle the extra people.

    But even though I really like walking in the woods, I’m not going to tell you that you can’t cut yours down arbitrarily. I’ll tell you that you cannot plug up the salmon stream, and have to control runoff, but not that you must simply leave an arbitrary percentage of your property untouched.

    So, on this topic. Do I think that the county should be able to arbitrarily tell a property owner that he/she cannot use half (or more) of his/her land? No. Especially when large developers have options that get around those restrictions that are not available to small land owners.

    I realize that this position puts me at odds with those that do not believe in the private ownership of land. The phrase I’ve heard is “all land is a sacred trust and shouldn’t be controlled by any one person“.

    Sorry. I own my little half-acre of woods. The trees stay because that is my preference, and should I prefer to cut them down, I will make sure that I do not disturb any salmon streams, and control any runoff issues. The county has rules to enforce that, and I’ve got no issue with them.

    Additionally, I’ll abide by the covenants and restrictions that were in place when I bought the property. That too is “reasonable”, as I knew about them up front and chose to buy anyway.

    Beyond that, nobody gets to have any further say in the matter. If someone really cannot deal with that position, they are welcome to make an offer to buy it from me.

  44. 56



    Good points, and my only real retort is that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

    Yes, there are topics that I also take absolute positions on.

    Except… Slavery is wrong, but is a prison work crew slavery? Can a prisoner actually “volunteer” when the alternative is to sit in a cell? Should we not allow prisoners to work? Hmmm. Even there, I’ve got to hedge just a little.

    Nazis. I find their philosophy to be both vile and hateful. But should they be forbidden to speak? To publish their bile? Should we punish them because of their beliefs?

    Civil rights. I’m in favor. But what do we do when your rights conflict with someone elses?

    True story. One fellow Obama delegate at the Pierce County convention was adamant that prayer of any kind should be forbidden in school. She recounted how, when she was in high school, a group of students insisted on meeting together at lunch and having a Bible study. She saw this as a violation of her civil rights, because she wasn’t of their faith, and they insisted on praying for her. Nothing else. Just quiet prayer.

    Whose civil rights do I defend? Hers, by expelling the students (her suggestion, even now), or their right to peaceably assemble and worship as they choose?

    Do I generally just try to come up with the best answer I can? Yup. Does it bother me when some posters make absolute statements, and completely demonize anyone that disagrees? Yup. Am I sometimes guilty of the same crime? Yup.

    Am I also known for being more than just a bit too full of myself? Guilty as charged, your honor.

    Anyone around here up for throwing the first stone?

    Oh, and for Michael. Howdy right back at you. You haven’t tasted really bad coffee until you’ve had a cup at my office. Stop by for one. (Call first, as I’m often out and about.)

  45. 57

    rhp6033 spews:

    55, 56: Actually, I can’t find a thing in those two posts I would dissagree with.

    By the way, a true story:

    I had a friend who was on the “property rights” end of the spectrum. He bought a nice little piece of property way up in the hills, with a beautiful view, and wanted to build there. He had a hard time getting a permit, and he railed about the “environmentalists” at the county who were insisting that he get a wetlands assessment, etc. “It’s my own d*mn lot, I should be able to build on it if I want to!!!!” he proclaimed, more than once. But he finally got the permit, and built a nice home, with a deck overlooking mountain views.

    One day I was visiting, and he told me, “you gotta see something”. He led me out to his deck. “Just Look!!!” he exclaimed, as he gestured toward the hills. It took me a minute, and then I realized. Just across the way, they were logging the mountainside, and it was clear that they were preparing for a development. My friend was fuming. “How could they let them spoil such a wonderfull view!!!!!”

    I just agreed with him that it was a shame, but gee, it’s their property, what can you do? He was still fuming. “All that money I spent on this property and building this house, and this is what they do????? Now I gotta find another place to build on. I probably won’t get out all the money I put into this place. What good is the Dept. of Ecology anyway, if they can allow this sort of thing!!!!!”

    Anyway, I had to chuckle. Privately. To myself. After I left.

  46. 58

    Steve spews:

    @55 “Additionally, I’ll abide by the covenants and restrictions that were in place when I bought the property.”:

    I just wish that a few more people shared that same view here at Alderbrook.

  47. 59


    John Barelli: I think your concern with ‘ideological purity’ is unfounded here at HA — except with some of the more extreme right wing commenters. Your exposition of what you consider reasonable seems, well, very reasonable.

    One thing to consider in the arena of land use rules is that what has kept land values high in King county is partially due to the strict land use rules.

    If your neighbors decide to cut down a bunch of trees, doesn’t that devalue your land? So, in a sense, it does affect your property.

    Another point that I take issue with is the one about consistency being the hobgoblin of little minds. I consider consistency to be the hobgoblin of medium to large minds. Anyone who has raised dogs or children knows that consistency is a must. In addition, I’ve never heard anyone say of their doctor, lawyer, banker, teacher, or of scientists, that consistency is unimportant and only a ‘little mind’ would concern themselves with it.

    If you believe something that is inconsistent with your overall philosophy, trotting out ‘hobgoblin’ remark is the mark of a small, lazy mind, not a superior mind.

  48. 60

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    John B @55: “So, on this topic. Do I think that the county should be able to arbitrarily tell a property owner that he/she cannot use half (or more) of his/her land?”

    Urban property owners have been subjected to even more “intrusive” regulation of this nature for many decades. It is done in the public interest. Why should rural landowners be exempt from the public interest?

    The trade off in the CAO is this: Rural folks can retain their bucholic life style in return for not subdividing nor clearing their land. Wild rampant subdevelopment will be curtailed within the “urban boundary”. In return, urban dwellers will have to put up with higher densities and the associated costs and undertake a whole array of very costly measures to prevent stormwater runoff, etc.

    This seems fair to me.

    Furthermore, if the best available science finds that allowing unregulated land clearing of, for example, 10 per cent of rural land will have extremely costly environmental impact, you are free to argue against the science. What I disagree vehemently on is a fact free assertion of a ‘principle’ based on some constrained version of ‘property rights’ (a social construct if memory serves) that allows you to simply disregard the costs (oh, those externalities!) if indeed the science is correct.

    You say you are some kind of lefty? On this issue you are throwing overboard the entire “lefty” critique of our current social arrangements, their costs, the tragic misallocation of social resources, and their environmental destructiveness. If being inconsistent is some kind of virtue in your mind (unless it is being consistently ‘middle of the road’), I would ask you find some other topic to throw the progressive agenda under the bus.

    Take Prohibition for instance.