Is Noncompliance Addicting?


People can be addicted to anything. There is even a television show about people with strange addictions.  Perhaps one day I will turn on the television and see an episode featuring the Whatcom County Council. I imagine that the council’s “confession” to the camera would sound like this….

At first…. I mean, like the first few couple of times, we were noncompliant with the GMA by accident.  We really thought we were following the law.  But it gave us such a thrill to thumb our collective noses at those stupid GMA Hearings Board Appointees.  After a while, we became addicted to that feeling.  It wasn’t even about the politics any more.  Now, we can not stop non-complying.  Rational argument from Carl Weimer, the staff, or the public can not stop us when the county prosecutor’s office is our enabler.  We feel bad about all the public funds we are wasting, and we worry about bankrupting the county, but if Jean Melious shows up one more time at a council meeting, I am not sure what we are capable of.  (Sigh.)  We really, really need help.   

What else could explain why Council Member Sam Crawford is attempting to amend the Lake Whatcom watershed moratorium on subdivision of lots under 5 acres with a provision that allows smaller lots to be created if clustering is used and there is no increase in overall density?  

Last week, the Growth Management Hearings Board determined that the county failed to protect Lake Whatcom’s water quality.  It stated that the county needed standards that prohibit excess phosphorus run-off from new watershed development.  It also found, in review of unrelated rural element provisions, that the county’s clustering regulation failed to comply with the GMA, in part, because open space was not protected permanently.

Well, that was last week.  Next week, January 15, 2013, at 7 PM in council chambers, there will be a public hearing on whether to amend the watershed moratorium by allowing an exemption for clustered lots. In other words, the council proposes addressing lake water quality issues, not by enacting zero excess phosphorus standards, but by allowing more watershed development under provisions that fail to comply with the GMA.  The only way to get closer to inviting a GMA challenge is to send out fancy invitation cards.  

Cha-ching, cha-ching. Noncompliance 2013 is in full swing.

About Wendy Harris

Citizen Journalist • Member since Mar 31, 2008

Comments by Readers

Tip Johnson

Jan 12, 2013

Plus, they are apparently convinced they can upzone 88,000 acres of agricultural land for the industrial uses of slaughter and rendering without so much as a relevant SEPA review.  Bizarre!

To comment, Log In or Register