Common Sense Alliance (CSA), a local non-profit organization, has recently been accused in the press of being “over-represented” on the Planning Commission because 3 out of 9 comissioners serve on the Board of CSA. The implication is that one’s free associations with people they choose may disqualify them from serving on purely advisory committees in San Juan County. The following is a response to this from the CSA:
If you are looking for legal pleadings or Mr. Mackie's letters to San Juan County, please look in the Library found at the top of this page in the "Legal" category.
If you are looking for science reports, look in the Library in the "Science" category. If you are looking for previous stories, cartoons or Newsletters, they will be found in the Library as well.
Newsblog uses facts derived from Public Records Requests and reveals the not-so-friendly side of environmentalists and agencies working in San Juan County. Along the way, it seems that concerns over the CAOs and SMP may be more political than driven by environmental concerns.
Read factual stories about how the "Friends of the San Juans (FOSJ)" are treating our neighbors in this special series of articles with links below and visit the trojanheron.blogspot.com for other local news.
The Growth Board has scheduled a Compliance Hearing in Friday Harbor on April 24, at 9 AM in the Legislative Hearing Room (Council Chambers).
On April 3, Common Sense Alliance and the Taggares Company filed objections to the County’s Compliance Report of March 19, requesting that the Growth Board find the Critical Area Ordinance (CAO) of December 2012 invalid.
Following the Growth Board’s Final Decision and Order of September 6, 2013, the County Council took action on March 5, 2014, to approve Amendments made to the December 2012 CAO. The purpose of the Amendments was to make San Juan County compliant with the Growth Management Act, pursuant to directions issued by the Growth Board.
A formal Compliance Report of the Amendments was made by the County with the state on March 19, 2014, seeking to bring the County into compliance.
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS APPEAL HEARD APRIL 14, 2014
An appeal in the case of Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR) Legal Fund v. San Juan County et al. will be heard on April 14, 2014 at 9:30AM by the Court of Appeals. If the Appellate Court overturns the lower court’s decision on the Washington Open Public Meetings Act, the effect on the San Juan County Critical Areas Ordinance could be dramatic.
The Appellate Court will consider whether the Island County Superior Court (Judge Hancock) erred in finding that San Juan County had not violated the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) even though “subcommittee” meetings were held by three members of the County Council as well as Planning Staff and the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, in secret, to interview experts, gather information and make recommendations on the provisions of the CAO without notice to the public.
On March 19th, San Juan Superior Court Judge Don Eaton held a hearing in the case of Common Sense Alliance, P.J. Taggares Company, et al. v. Growth Management Hearings Board, Western Washington Region. Judge Eaton’s task is to review the Growth Board’s decision of September 6, 2013, regarding San Juan County’s Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO).
For the first time, this hearing dealt with constitutional issues raised by the Common Sense Alliance (CSA) and Taggares. The Friends of the San Juans (FOSJ) raised issues the Growth Board had ruled against, and Amy Vira, representing the County, defended the Critical Areas Ordinance as adopted in December 2012.
In preparation for the Public Hearing on February 4, 2014, at 9:15 a.m., on the second draft of the Critical Areas Ordinance developed by County Staff and the Council in response to comments made by the Growth Board in their Final Decision Order, Sandy Mackie submitted comments on behalf of the Common Sense Alliance and the P.J. Taggares Company. Comments to the County Council can be read here.
CSA also sends comments for the February 4, 2014 Public Hearing. Comments by CSA can be read here.
In their Final Decision Order (FDO) of September 6, 2013, the Growth Management Hearings Board (Board) found that a variety of factors in San Juan County's Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) led to a high risk approach to the protection of critical areas. The Board sent the CAOs back to San Juan County to take legislative action to comply with the GMA as set forth in their FDO.
Since that time the Planning Commission and the Council have been working on amendments to the December 2012 CAO. The final draft CAO document is now available for review at the link provided. CSA has submitted written comments entitled, "Clarifications and Comments on Proposed CAO Revisions," and submitted them with the Planning Commission Minutes of their November 15, 2013 meeting, as an attachment.
On February 21, in accordance with the Briefing Schedule Reply Briefs were filed by the parties below in the matter of Common Sense Alliance, P. J Taggares Company, and Friends of the San Juans, Petitioners vs. Growth Management Hearings Board, Western Washington Region, et al., Respondents.
Petitioner, Common Sense Alliance's Reply Brief
Petitioner, P. J. Taggares Company's Reply Brief
Responsive Briefs were filed January 30 and 31, 2014 in the matter of Petitioners Common Sense Alliance, P.J. Taggares Company, and Friends of the San Juans v. Growth Management Hearings Board, Western Washington Region, which is the request of CSA, Taggares and FOSJ for the San Juan County Superior Court to review the September 6th decision by the Growth Board on San Juan County's Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO). The briefs can be read as follows
Common Sense Alliance and the P.J. Taggares Company respond to the Friends of the San Juans. You can read the brief at this link.
Friends of the San Juans responds to Common Sense Alliance and P.J. Taggares Company. You can read the Friends brief here.
Late in September after CSA received the final Order from the Growth Hearings Board, word came to CSA that the Board of Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) had approved PLF’s participation with CSA in the matter of Common Sense Alliance v. Growth Management Hearings Board, Western Washington Region, which is CSA's request for the court to review the September 6th decision by the Growth Board on San Juan County's Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO). The hearing on this matter is set for 8:30 a.m., March 19, 2014, in the San Juan County Superior Court. You can read PLF's Amicus Brief Curiae at this link.
On February 21, 2014, San Juan County files its Response to Amicus Curiae brief of Pacific Legal Foundation.
On February 21, 2014, the Friends of the San Juans files their Response to Amicus Curiae Brief of Pacific Legal Foundation