County should put protections for private property rights on equal footing with environmental concerns

Protections of private property rights is one of 14 important Growth Management Act planning goals.  

Susan Rasmussen
Susan Rasmussen

If the county is going to follow the state’s requirement of equal emphasis for all 14 planning goals, perhaps the county should consider eliminating nearly all pieces of data and factual reports concerning protections for critical areas and their corresponding buffers. That would put protections for private property rights on equal footing with environmental concerns and bring the county closer to compliance regarding equal emphasis of all 14 planning goals in the comprehensive plan.

The comments I heard during the county’s recent planning work session on June 7, led me to believe the staff is returning the urban reserve and holding overlays. Over the past several years, the Board of County Councilors has heard testimony from landowners regarding the burdens of these overlays.  

The county has abused the overlays and left properties lingering in holding patterns for decades. The planning staff are of the opinion these properties are subject to overlays for the purpose of preserving them for the future discretionary pleasure of the cities.  Public testimony is unnecessary and irrelevant.

The present moratorium on all rural land divisions raises concerns about the county’s already scarce supply of rural buildable land.  There was no discussion on the impacts of the moratorium to housing affordability, the tolls on rural culture,  disruptions to families, and property devaluations.  If we are going to have a realistic picture of how the county’s rural areas are to grow, prosper, accommodate our children and grandchildren, a logical consideration of the county’s rural buildable land capacity is  advisable   No growth is not a legal option and that is what is being advanced.

There is absolutely no excuse for the county to allow cherry picking and manipulations of the public record.  Once Clark County Citizens United (CCCU) discovered and alerted the county to the hundreds of missing testimony and factual reports, CCCU made a formal request to allow resubmissions into the record so it would be whole.   CCCU believes and trusts the public process. To our amazement, county staff countered our request with strong resistance and refused.  CCCU assumed the county had  desires to protect the record’s credibility.

CCCU assumed the county did not want to subject the record to corruption and bias against any opposition.  County aggression directed towards CCCU says otherwise and should not be customary.  The county needs to make every attempt to encourage and facilitate non-bias treatment for all citizens … that is the American way.

Susan Rasmussen
for Clark County Citizens United, Inc.

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