Letters to the Editor

New disclosure needs additional protection | Letters


Had a friend who went hiking with a buddy in the Yukon. The sign on trail said, “Beware of bears, they can be dangerous.”

Short story, bear killed his buddy.

Later, my friend found out that a bear(s) on that trail over the prior month had seriously mauled two other hikers.

Do you think the territorial government properly warned the hikers heading up that trail?

OK, the story is fiction, but the point is real. There is warning intended to genuinely inform, and there is warning — not to inform, but just to cover legal fannies.

The newly copyrighted form by Northwest Multiple Listing Services improves on their earlier copyrighted form, but isn’t quite beyond fanny-covering.

Here are four things it needs:

• The disclosure should include the relevant map with an “X” designating the property location on the map. The map should include the county noise zones and the DNL and especially the actual decibel (dBA) noise contours.

• Regarding the statement that noise “… may exceed 100 dba,” that should read that noise “…may range upward of 100 to 120+ dBA (decibels).” Without effective hearing protection, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that hearing loss at these levels will occur, even with short-term (seconds of) exposure, and there are other serious health-related risks.

• Instead of just recommending the buyer consult with Island County for more information, it should offer several of the most apropos and authoritative websites related to noise/decibels and health issues.

• Finally, the disclosure must be required to be displayed in a prominent location so that any buyer visiting the property is able to review that important information at first visit — as opposed to brought out of the closet the day before closing, as it was in my case.

And, the disclosure form must be signed as a prerequisite component of any purchase contract.

Robert Wilbur



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