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  • Category Archives The Appearance of Fairness Doctrine?
  • Forget About Draining the Swamp

    Forget About Draining the SWAMP

    The Government alligators have taken over WA STATE WETLANDS

    When you’re up to your butt in alligators, it’s easy to forget that the initial objective was to drain the swamp.

    (idiomatic) When performing a long and complex task, and when you’ve gotten utterly immersed in secondary and tertiary unexpected tangential subtasks, it’s easy to lose sight of the initial objective. This sort of distraction can be particularly problematic if the all-consuming subtask or sub-subtask is not, after all, particularly vital to the original, primary goal, but ends up sucking up time and resources (out of all proportion to its actual importance) only because it seems so urgent.
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    Wetland Program Plan (WPP)

    Final WPP Now Available

    In March 2015, Ecology and the Interagency Work Group finalized the state’s Wetland Program Plan. The plan is a strategic tool, developed and implemented by the state, to articulate what the state seeks to accomplish with the wetland program over time. A strategy is necessary for an effective program that protects wetlands and strives to meet the state’s goal of no net loss and an overall net gain in wetland resources.

    This plan is organized around six core elements: regulation, monitoring and assessment, voluntary restoration and protection, water quality standards, education and outreach, and sustainable financing. These elements are critical to the success of the program. This plan outlines work for a six-year timeframe and sets a longer-term vision for future actions.

    >More background information

    Download the Plan

    State Interagency Work Group

    Many agencies play a role in the protection and management of wetland resources in Washington State, in coordination with local governments and federal partners. Current state partners include the:

    Program Matrix

    During the development of the draft WPP, state agencies on the Interagency Work Group, as well as other agencies with a role in protecting and managing wetlands, were asked to identify aspects of their existing programs that fell within each of the EPA core elements.  The information was compiled into a wetland program matrix.  This matrix served as the baseline from which this plan was developed.

    >Download the Program Matrix

    If you have questions about an agency program, please contact the agency. If you have questions about the matrix in general or the Washington Wetland Program Plan, please contact the plan coordinator (see below).

    Update on Past Planning Efforts

    State Wetland Integration Strategy and Mitigation that Works Forum Report

    There were two major planning efforts in the past that provided direction and context for developing this plan: the State Wetland Integration Strategy (SWIS, 1994) and the Mitigation that Works Forum report (2008). These guiding documents have shaped the state’s wetland program and demonstrate the importance and value of long-term planning and agency coordination. We will be posting an overview of the recommendations and implementation actions of SWIS and the Making Mitigation Work Report on this web page. For each action, we will include an update on the status, current priority, and if and where it is included in the Wetland Program Plan action tables. In progress, please check back.

    Contact

    Susan Buis
    (360) 407-7653
    susan.buis@ecy.wa.gov

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    This is a major policy change especially with the NEW “all wet areas are connected” science synthesis proposed by EPA.

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    Meanwhile, the ABSOLUTE WETTEST PLACES IN THE CONTINENTAL United States are located in the Pacific Northwest, with Washington State’s Aberdeen Reservoir taking the top spot with an average yearly precipitation of 130.6 inches (3317mm).

    http://usatravel.about.com/od/Weather/ss/Wettest-Places-in-the-USA.htm

    SO? IF YOU LIVE IN WA STATE, THE  ABSOLUTELY WETTEST PLACES IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES? AND  YOU’VE GOT ALL OF YOUR MUD PUDDLES, CONNECTED TO ALL OF YOUR WETLANDS AND THEY ARE ALL CONNECTED TO ALL OF THE WET AREAS ON YOUR PRIVATE PROPERTY?

    WHEN ARE OUR WA STATE  ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES GOING TO START ACTING, REACTING AND OBJECTING TO THE FAIRNESS OF THE EPA WASHINGTON WETLAND PLAN FOR THE  ABSOLUTELY WETTEST PLACES IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES?

    Washington State Senate

    APPEARANCE OF FAIRNESS DOCTRINE — LIMITATIONS … 42.36.080, Disqualification based on doctrine — Time limitation for raising challenge. 42.36.

    • Municipal Research and Services Center

      Feb 5, 2015 – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), The Appearance of Fairness Doctrine in Washington State, MRSC Report no.11 Rev., April 2011.

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    SO? THE EPA FUNDED/GRANTED (taxpayer money) FOR THE WASHINGTON WETLAND PLAN?
    WHO IS GOING TO FUND THE ECONOMIC DISASTER THAT FOLLOWS?

    Washington State Wetland Program Plan – Access Washington

    https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/…/1406005.html
    WorkSource

    Washington State Wetland Program Plan … VIEW NOW: Acrobat PDF format (Number of pages: 115) (Publication Size: 4391KB) Core Elements Action Tables

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    Summary of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Quick Links

    2 USC §1501 et seq (1995)

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) was enacted to avoid imposing unfunded federal mandates on state, local, and tribal governments (SLTG), or the private sector. Most of UMRA’s provisions apply to proposed and final rules:

    • for which a general notice of proposed rule making was published, and
    • that include a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure of funds by state, local, or tribal governments (SLTG), in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year.

    If a rule meets these conditions, the agency must:

    • Prepare a written statement that includes:
      • the legal authority for the rule,
      • a cost-benefit assessment,
      • a description of the macro-economic effects, and
      • a summary of SLTG concerns and how they were addressed.
    • Consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and select the least costly, least burdensome, or most cost-effective option that achieves the objectives of the rule, or explain why the agency did not make such a choice.
    • Consult with elected officers of SLTG (or their designated employees with authority to act on their behalf) to provide meaningful and timely input in the development of proposed rules containing significant federal intergovernmental mandates.

    Section 203 of UMRA applies to all regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Before establishing a requirement that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments, §203 requires federal agencies to develop a plan to:

    • provide notice of the requirements to potentially affected small governments;
    • enable officials of small governments to provide meaningful and timely input for any proposal containing significant federal intergovernmental mandates; and
    • inform, educate, and advise small governments on compliance with the requirements.

     


  • SMP Public Comment #163

    I resubmit this as my SMP Public Comment #163

    Buying and selling non-conforming homes

    SMP critical areas, setbacks, buffers, wetlands and NON-CONFORMING property.

    Previously posted SMP Public Comment #254 Wednesday, May 02, 2012 11:13 AM

    In answer to posted SMP Public Comment “so many questions”

    Why not help the 3300 shoreline private property owners?

    I have researched and documented, I have answers.

    You, Clallam County DCD have not responded to their posted question? YET?

    Pearl Rains Hewett

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     snippet, full text below

    What you may want to be concerned about is the decrease in value of the waterfront lots, parcels with wetlands and future non-conforming underdeveloped properties and their subsequent impact to not only you directly, but also to our tax rolls and the revenues that our county services depend upon.

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    A very brief overview of Tort Law

    The prima facie case for negligence requires:

    Duty is owed to the plaintiff by the defendant
    Breach of the Duty
    Causation: The defendant caused the harm to occur.
    Damages: The plaintiff suffers harm.

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     General Advice: In the old days, we use to advise clients that waterfront homes and anything with a dock would appreciate at the highest rate in our market. We would say “buy waterfront, and lots of it”.

    Unfortunately, due to the Critical Area Ordinance update we have had to change what we recommend. We now must caution buyers on the purchase of waterfront lots, parcels with wetlands, and those homes or cabins that are underdeveloped and may become non-conforming should the update increase the buffers to undesirable levels and make a high percentage of the buffer “no touch”. Homes that are already developed to their highest and best use, such as a large waterfront home, with guest house and dock, in all likelihood should increase in value since you may not be able to create those improvements or have those views in the future. As those homes are already in place, you won’t be concerned over the non-conforming growth restrictions as contained in the current regulations; however, the next owner may have wanted to expand the home.

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    Posted on line as SMP Public comment #254

    I would like to comment and make a suggestion on future DOE SMP questionnaires used at Clallam County Public Forums.  I suggest the following questions, in order, by priority.

    1. Are you attending this forum to find out how your private property will be affected by the proposed SMP Update?

    2. Are you concerned about the proposed marine and freshwater, critical areas, shoreline setbacks and buffer zones?

    3. Do you want to know  the percentage of your property that will become non-conforming under the proposed setbacks and buffers?

    4.Do you know the difference between grandfathered and non-conforming?

    5.Do you want to know what affect the term non-conforming will have on your property?

    6. Are you concerned about how the term non-conforming will affect your property value?

    7. Do you want more information on the mitigation process for non-conforming homes/property?

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    3/01/15 PLUS THIS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    Buying and selling DOE SMP non-conforming shoreline property?

    Documentation on policy from local lending institutions?

    RESEARCH

    1. 5/ 01/12  I spent 45 minutes being transferred, from one person to another, and finally spoke to a loan officer, at my bank(of 30 years). He was sympathetic, he used to live in Port Townsend. He had information on non-conforming loans, but no information on loans on non-conforming property. He suggested I talk with the president of my local bank branch.

    2. 5/02/12  I drove to and talked with the local bank manager. There is only one loan officer for this bank, in this area, located at the Sequim Branch.

    3. 5/02/12  I drove from PA to Sequim and the loan officer and I talked for over 30 minutes. She was very helpful. She lives on a local marine bluff.

    4. 5/03/12 called another local bank loan officer indicated she was not qualified to answer my question. I was given the bank’s Mortgage Director’s phone number.

    5. 5/04/12 Mortgage director returned my call, after a 30 minute conversation. She said only the information recorded with the auditor’s office shows up on applications for home loans.

     

    Bottom line Q’s and A’s

    I asked if she could give me anything in writing regarding the buying and selling of DOE SMP non-conforming shoreline property?

    The bank’s Mortgage Director answer was, not without writing it up, sending it to corporate headquarters and having it reviewed and approved by their attorneys.

     

    GENERIC STATEMENTS

    Home mortgages are never black and white.

    DOE SMP  setbacks and buffers ARE.

    Mitigation is always a grey area.

    Times have changed, with all of the foreclosures and bank ownership of homes, all applications for home loans are under more scrutiny.

    Appraiser’s may RED FLAG the appraisal for your home loan application.

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    BACK TO THE POSTED  online  SMP Public Comment #254 (full text)

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 11:13 AM

    To: zSMP; sgrey@co.Clallam.wa.us; Miller, Sheila Roark

    Cc: Karl Spees; Jay Petersen; McEntire

    , Jim; lois Perry; marv chastain; harry bell

    Subject:

    REAL ESTATE MARKET VALUE OF NON-CONFORMING PROPERTY

     

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

    I submit this as my comment on the SMP Update

    Pearl Rains Hewett Trustee

    George C. Rains Sr. Estate

    Member SMP Advisory Committee

     

    The good news is

    There are compliments all around for staff and consultants regarding the handling of the SMP Advisory Committee meetings.

    Thank you for compiling and disclosing the statistics on the setbacks and buffers on the marine SED  priority feeder bluffs.

     

    The bad news is

    SAN JUAN ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET SUMMARY (full text follows)

    Spring 2012 Issue, SMP critical areas, setbacks, buffers, wetlands and NON-CONFORMING property.

    What you may want to be concerned about is the decrease in value of the waterfront lots, parcels with wetlands and future non-conforming underdeveloped properties and their subsequent impact to not only you directly, but also to our tax rolls and the revenues that our county services depend upon.

     

     

    I would like to comment and make a suggestion on future DOE SMP questionnaires used at Clallam County Public Forums.  I suggest the following questions, in order, by priority.

     

    1. Are you attending this forum to find out how your private property will be affected by the proposed SMP Update?

    2. Are you concerned about the proposed marine and freshwater, critical areas, shoreline setbacks and buffer zones?

    3. Do you want to know  the percentage of your property that will become non-conforming under the proposed setbacks and buffers?

    4.Do you know the difference between grandfathered and non-conforming?

    5.Do you want to know what affect the term non-conforming will have on your property?

    6. Are you concerned about how the term non-conforming will affect your property value?

    7. Do you want more information on the mitigation process for non-conforming homes/property?

     

    SAN JUAN ISLAND REAL ESTATE MARKET SUMMARY

    Merri Ann Simonson

    Managing Broker

    Sales Manager

    simonson@sanjuanislands.com

    General Advice: In the old days, we use to advise clients that waterfront homes and anything with a dock would appreciate at the highest rate in our market. We would say “buy waterfront, and lots of it”.

    Unfortunately, due to the Critical Area Ordinance update we have had to change what we recommend. We now must caution buyers on the purchase of waterfront lots, parcels with wetlands, and those homes or cabins that are underdeveloped and may become non-conforming should the update increase the buffers to undesirable levels and make a high percentage of the buffer “no touch”. Homes that are already developed to their highest and best use, such as a large waterfront home, with guest house and dock, in all likelihood should increase in value since you may not be able to create those improvements or have those views in the future. As those homes are already in place, you won’t be concerned over the non-conforming growth restrictions as contained in the current regulations; however, the next owner may have wanted to expand the home. What you may want to be concerned about is the decrease in value of the waterfront lots, parcels with wetlands and future non-conforming underdeveloped properties and their subsequent impact to not only you directly, but also to our tax rolls and the revenues that our county services depend upon.

    Spring 2012 Issue

    Real Estate News—Page Two