Journal of the San Juan Islands


CAO? Does more harm than good | Letters

June 5, 2014 · Updated 10:33 AM

I wonder if the critical areas ordinance (CAO) group has attempted to measure the economic impact they are going to have?

Visually improving the shoreline by increasing setbacks is going to look nice to boaters, but it’s going to seriously impact the trades that otherwise would have been hired to make improvements without all the red tape.

If you want a one-foot bigger kitchen going toward the water—you have to move the whole house!

And what about “reasonable exemptions?” How does a prospective buyer know if one will be granted?

This increases the risk to any prospective buyer, and you probably need a lawyer. Heck, you need a lawyer just to read the CAO document.

And what about the loss of tax revenue from the property improvements that won’t happen? (If more people pay more property taxes we can enjoy better schools and services).

And how about the loss of construction material purchases from local suppliers and the lost sales tax revenue?

It’s just plain naive to think there won’t be lost business and lost real estate sales because of shoreline restrictions in the CAO.

David Dehlendorf in his recent diatribe slamming the CSA, (“Holes in campaign of misinformation,” May 21, pg. 7) states that he has never heard of a property owner, or prospective owner, who was affected.

Well, “Here I Am.”

I have a property in mind that I would purchase in a heartbeat if I knew I could make certain improvements without being subject to a complicated set of rules having an unknown outcome.

The property I have in mind would require an exemption and that stops me right there. I’m just guessing here, but I bet that none of the CAO members has waterfront property.

I care about the environment, and I also care about people. I don’t like it when we become a political, rule-driven society ignoring common sense.

I am not a member of the Common Sense Alliance (CSA) and I don’t believe the CAO is going to make life or the environment any better as a whole.

What might help is a comprehensive approach to restricting and/or eliminating the chemicals we add to the watershed. I can’t believe we are talking about setbacks while we allow Roundup and other really pervasive substances to be scattered, poured and dumped all over.

Rikki Swin, San Juan Island


Commenting Rules

© Sound Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Our Titles | Work With Us