Vote for Watson and Durland – Letter

The San Juan County Council recently released their preliminary budget for 2017. A hearing on the budget is scheduled for November 14. During this campaign, Councilmen Jarman and Hughes have repeatedly said they want to simplify the county code, revise land use regulations to address housing needs, and address discrepancies in the critical area regulations. But the proposed 2017 budget for the Department of Community Development does not include that work. If there’s no budget there can be no work.

The Community Development Department has a binder full of suggestions for dealing with problem sections of the land use codes. These have been provided over many years by local attorneys, citizens, county staff and the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Other proposed changes to the regulations are identified in the existing Comprehensive Plan. After four years in office, Jarman and Hughes have made little meaningful progress on these amendments.

For land use planning to be effective it is imperative the regulations be clear and that they implement the goals and policies of the Comprehensive Plan. Over the last few years San Juan County has spent an inordinate amount of time and money meeting State requirements, and working on plans and regulations that only benefit a select segment of our community. It is time to shift the focus and address the land use problems that affect all San Juan County residents and property owners.

To better support affordable housing, and to protect our property values, our community and our shared natural resources vote for Bill Watson and Micheal Durland.

Lee Sturdivant

San Juan Island