Thursday, August 13, 2009

Property Rights Meeting Draws 450

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Over 450 people showed up at a meeting on property rights at Meridian High School Tuesday night. It was the first meeting of the newly-formed Whatcom Chapter of the Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR).

Several local farmers and business owners spoke about struggles with county restrictions on their property, discussing the Critical Areas Ordinance, septic system inspection rules, and proposed zoning changes in many rural Whatcom County areas.

Krause Manufacturing in Laurel is the biggest tax contributor to the Meridian School District, said owner Darryl Krause.Proposed new zoning could force the company out of business or out of the area, he said.

“If they take all these businesses out of Laurel, what’s next? Put sign on [the] Meridian High School reader board [that] says, ‘school closed due to county government’?” asked Krause.“That’s basically what it’s going to be. I mean, it’s just plain and simple, it’s absolutely just stupid.”

Ferndale-area farmer Mark Harting spoke about restrictions resulting from the county’s Critical Areas Ordinance intended to protect the Drayton Harbor watershed. The rules make it hard for farmers in the area to stay in business, said Harting.

“It’s all been based on the assumption that we’re trying to preserve a oyster harvesting business in the county, and under the assumption that we are guilty, with no way to prove our innocence,” he said.

CAPR founder and former King County Councilmember Steve Hammond also addressed the crowd, urging people to get involved in local government.

Dillon Honcoop, KGMI News

No comments: