Old Form 22W may be inadequate, but it was clearly a red flag | Publisher's Column

Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve President Michael Monson claims the Internet posting by a local Realtor stating that he initialed Form 22W a decade ago is an attempt to “discredit him.”

Perhaps that’s true, but the fact is Monson did sign a form of disclosure when he bought his home.

That’s pertinent information in the debate over jet noise and the Navy’s Outlying Field Coupeville.

Prior to the revelation, made by Realtor Joe Mosolino, Monson made a point of publicly declaring he and other COER members received no warning about jet noise when they bought their homes.

Here’s what old Form 22w said:

“The property is located within an Airport Noise Zone 2 or 3 impacted area. Persons on the premises may be exposed to a significant noise level as a result of airport operations. Island County has placed certain restrictions on construction of property within airport noise zones. Before purchasing or leasing the above property, you should consult the Island County Noise Level Reduction Ordinance to determine the restrictions which have been placed on the property, if any.”

Note, the form cites “SIGNIFICANT noise level.”

At some point, we all sign paperwork without reading it — how many of us have read every word of our cell phone agreements? Regardless, with our acceptance, we accept accountability.

While original Form 22W wasn’t as specific as it should be, it is, at the very least, a red flag for a homebuyer.

I lived on Whidbey in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and jet noise was as much an issue then as it is now. I had a coworker who bought a home in Admiral’s Cove. She complained regularly about the noise from the A-6 Intruders and EA-6B Prowlers.

I was baffled by her complaints. At what point, I wondered, does caveat emptor — buyer beware — come into play?

When I was buying my first home in the 1990s, I didn’t even consider property in the Admiral’s Cove area. When I was searching for a place to live this past February, same thing.

While Form 22W clearly could have and should have been more specific, calling it “useless” and a “nondisclosure” doesn’t make it so.


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