Letters to the Editor

’Friends’ carries the load for many | Letters

I was speaking with a friend on the phone this morning who told me about her neighbor installing a septic system on a wetland.  I asked her, “what did you do?”

She said “nothing, I didn’t know what to do.” Friends of the San Juans answers calls like this a lot.

This is what happened in the case of Charles Dalton and his land partners: Two years ago a concerned citizen who remained anonymous because of anticipated repercussions from Charles Dalton, called the Friends of the San Juans complaining about the construction of:

A fresh-water well in a stream, muddy water entering East Sound, concerns regarding a road construction over a stream, building three structures near a wetland or a stream.

After researching and finding out Charles Dalton and his land partners did not have appropriate permits, the Friends of the San Juans filed a formal code complaint with the San Juan County code enforcement officer, who is the only person in the county that has the authority of investigating land-use violations.

Friends of the San Juans does not have the authority nor is it their policy or responsibility to seek out violations. It is their job to be available to concerned citizens when they call for help.

I am sorry that Charles Dalton said in his video that Friends of the San Juans have been unfriendly to him. I am sorry that Charles Dalton did not abide by the laws of our county.

He said in his own video, “I made some mistakes. I built without permits”. From there he communicated with the county, whose job is to enforce code violations and help Charles Dalton and his land partners to comply with the County regulations. Any citizen can file a code complaint with the county.

Vivien Burnett

San Juan Island


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