Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Water Wars Forever

As our loyal readers know, Whatcom County's rural and agricultural areas can accommodate enough new houses to take care of the County's population growth for the next 25 years.  Not one new house or apartment needs to be built in a city -- the County's zoning allows all the new houses anybody could need to be built in rural and ag land.  

And you know that the rural and ag areas don't have water to spare.   Most of the basins in Whatcom County are closed to further withdrawals, but that hasn't affected the County's decision to allow all those new houses to be built, tapping groundwater that will not be available to farmers or to fish.

And you know that the Growth Management Hearings Board has found that the County needs to protect water quality and quantity.  As a result, the County is under a legal compliance obligation; it is supposed to be working towards compliance with the Board's order.  That's the law. 

And you know that the County has the option of improving its water quality and quantity planning to comply with the Board's order. 

Instead, the County Council just voted to spend $40,000 more taxpayer-provided dollars to keep fighting in court.  

And today, in a compliance hearing before the Growth Management Hearings Board (this is a public hearing, so I'm not telling any tales), the County's attorney stated that the "County does not intend to take any further legislative action without guidance by the court."

So much for following the law!

So much for protecting water quality and quantity!

So much for all of those campaign promises NOT to keep funding Seattle attorneys to fight against GMA compliance!  I hope that We the Taxpayers are prepared for many more requests for many more tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars, because this Council apparently does not see a need to end the old Council's GMA battles any time soon.

I'm very disappointed as a citizen.  But as an advocate -- well, nobody ever promised us a rose garden, so on we go. 

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