Water is becoming a big issue. Skagit County has already quit issuing building permits for anyone needing a new well in the Skagit River Basin as of Dec 11, 2013. Can Whatcom County be heading this way, maybe, lot’s hope not as it could affect a lot of landowners, making
Water is becoming a big issue. Skagit County has already quit issuing building permits for anyone needing a new well in the Skagit River Basin as of Dec 11, 2013. Can Whatcom County be heading this way, maybe, lot’s hope not as it could affect a lot of landowners, making there land good for nothing but recreational use. Yes that would mean no building any place a well is needed.
Here’s the quick and easy version. Four people challenged the Whatcom County rules they felt didn’t do enough to protect our water resources, and salmon streams. They took their case to the Growth Management Board who agreed with them. The county has appealed the decision, they had to hire lawyers to do it and have now decided the high cost of the appeal may not be what the county should be spending our money on. With a new County Council we are wondering where they will take the appeal.
The new rules would make a homeowner or developer prove a well is not harmful to the environment. Hmmm.. does that sound like a catch-22, how do you prove a negative. Maybe you could hire a hydrologist for a $20,000 price tag, and then there is no guarantee they will find in your favor. Well there is a hearing scheduled for June 7, 2014 to see how the Council will respond. So we have a few months to put some good minds together and see how to best work this out.
If we take a look a bit south in Skagit county, on Dec 11, 2013 the planning department issued a statement saying “Skagit County cannot legally issue residential building permits or approve subdivision applications unless the applicant has a lawful water supply……” The Swinomish Tribe is trying to protest the integrity of the streams and tributaries that make up salmon habitat. I spoke to someone from Ecology department about the water issues in Skagit County , they told me they are working on mitigation, releasing water from the upstream damns when it is most n needed. They had an interesting perspective saying the laws would ultimately be decided by the state supreme court, because of all the legal challenges and appeals.
Stay tuned. I’m sure the public has already brought suits in Skagit County, and in Whatcom we need to be vigilant to keep our private land from becoming useful for nothing more than private parks.