I was thinking that somebody (preferably David) ought to write a year-end retrospective about all of the de-planning that's gone on in Whatcom County in 2011.
And I thought to myself, when did David start this blog?
The answer is: October 16, 2011. So we missed our own birthday. And I would point out that nobody threw us a party.
What really caught my eye, though, was the very first comment on this very first blog entry.
What has changed in the year-plus since then?
- The County still has an "emergency" windpower moratorium.
- The County Council keeps approving development that chips away at our agricultural base.
- Wetlands and trees destroyed, with nobody there to stop it and just a little fine and stop-work order. . . .hmmm. . . .did SSA use this comment as a how-to manual for its illegal clearing at Cherry Point?
- Caitac -- well, Caitac got its upzone at the last County Council meeting, but anyone who thinks it's all over now, please raise your hand. Don't see any hands.
I have lived/farmed in rural Whatcom County for 30 years. It is so heartbreaking to watch everyone talk about avoiding sprawl; we have meetings and meetings to come up with zoning laws and long term land-use plans in order to protect the AG lands and our rural character; but then exception after exception is made by the Council and we watch the continued sprawl creep over our rural lands. Some developers know that enforcement is non-existent so they roar in and knowingly break the laws. A fine and a little stop-work order won't put the trees and wetlands back after they destroy them. So a few neighbors complain, the developer gets a little fine and maybe a delay but those wetlands and trees are already gone now and noone at the zoning department saw what was there before. So it works out way better for the developer to trash it first and deal with the problems later.
I remember attending the first public rezone meetings for the Caitac property a long time ago. David Syre of the Trillium Corp. was very involved in it then. So many people turned out and look at Cordata now. City! . . .
Then to top it off, the Council puts an EMERGENCY moratorium on Wind Generators to stop community owned wind energy projects! My goodness, it's a true emergency! A windmill might ruin our County! But rezoning and clustering our County to death with more unneeded houses and shopping areas with a tourist hotel is exactly what we need!
We live in such a special place and I watch this insanity while the sprawl continues. The County government announces it is cutting over 100 jobs because we are low on funds. But remember- Growth is good for our economy! Yeah! Right!
I don't really have an uplifting conclusion for this blog. So I'll just end it. Happy New Year!