Editorial: Land use issue gets hot again

Land use controversies in Island County were plentiful for years until the Comprehensive Plan required by the state Growth Management Act was finally adopted in 1998.

Since then, it’s been pretty quiet except for occasional court disputes. But heated public discussion is sure to erupt again Tuesday, May 24, when the Coupeville Elementary School multi-purpose room is expected to be packed with people concerned about new rules that will apply to farmers and even gardeners whose property is zoned rural and includes small wetland areas.

County government has heated the situation by blaming the impending rule changes on the Whidbey Environmental Action Network, whose arguments regarding wetlands prevailed in court. It would be more appropriate to blame the judges or even Island County itself for presenting a weak case, rather than the more politically convenient WEAN. Fortunately, islanders are rational folks so don’t expect tar and feathers to be brought to the meeting, despite the county’s best rabble rousing efforts.

Tempers will be quickly defused if the county states the obvious: We all want small farmers and gardeners to continue their activities in an affordable and environmentally healthy way, and we’ll work together to make sure that happens.

Nevertheless, it promises to be a memorable meeting. It starts at 7 p.m.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates