A review of
Friends' appeal of the proposed 396 acre Clear Valley Wetland Bank permit appeals.
On January 22, 2010, FOSC asked
the Skagit Superior Court to rule on the Commissioners
refusal to hear the appeal. The County Prosecuting
Attorney requested a change of venue due to Skagit judges prejudice.
FOSC requested copies of the judges recusals, but have not received
these to date. The LUPA appeal and the case requesting the
judge to rule on whether the Commissioners have to hear the case is
set for Friday, March
12, 2010 in Whatcom Superior Court, Bellingham. The
hearing is open to the public.
All 3 County Commissioners
recused themselves from hearing the grading and shorelines
appeals filed by FOSC. The letter about the recusals sent
to FOSC states that the Examiner's ruling is final as of January
19, 2010. The ruling says Ag-Natural Resource Lands (Ag-NRL) are
not all prime agricultural lands and therefore can be converted
to other uses.
FOSC LUPA (Land Use Protection Act) Appeal of Skagit Environmental Bank's
grading permit was heard on Friday, March 12, 2010. FOSC filed
in Skagit Superior Court, but the Court Administrator and the Civil
Prosecuting Attorney said all of the judges had recused themselves.
We have no recusal from the judges themselves, but we asked the
Whatcom Superior Court to take the appeal.
Judge Snyder (Whatcom Superior Court) did not rule on whether the
Commissioners had bias, should have recused, or should have un-recused
and heard the appeal.
concern was that if the
hearing examiner's ruling
is allowed to stand it wipes out protection under the Skagit Code or Shorelines Master
Plan for Skagit agricultural lands. The County considers
the Hearing Examiner's ruling is now final.
The "rule of necessity" is a
point of law which states that if there is no one to hear the
appeal, then the officers may un-recuse themselves and hear the
appeal. FOSC asked the Whatcom Superior Court to rule
on this issue. The judge did not do so.
March 26, 2010, Whatcom Superior Court, Bellingham, due to Judge
Snyder's ruling. The judge refused to rule on whether the Commissioners must complete their
deliberations on the Hearing Examiner's ruling allowing the permits
to go forward on on the Clear Valley bank.
The Commissioners HAVE NOT SIGNED the
banking instrument that would allow the Clear Valley wetland
mitigation bank to go foward.
WRITE a Letter, Fax of Email TODAY to the County
Commissioners stating your opposition to the Clear Valley
project and tell them not to sign the banking instrument.
Ken Dahlstedt, Sharon Dillon and Ron Wesen 1800 Continental Pl.
#100 Mount Vernon,
WA 98273 Ph: 360-336-9300 Fax: 339-9307 Email:
WRITE a letter to the Skagit Valley Herald or your other local
newspaper stating your opposition to the Clear Valley bank and
the loss of more farmland.
Valley Herald Box
578, Mount Vernon,
WA 98274. Fax: 360-424-5300 Email:
Here are the reasons why this
land should remain farmland. The GMA and the County
Comprehensive Plan require the identification and protection of
Agricultural – Natural Resource Lands. The Hearing
Examiner ruled that not all Ag-NRL lands are prime agricultural
lands and therefore could be converted to other uses. FOSC
The land is zoned Agriculture-Natural
It is prime agricultural land, the soils are in the top 1% in production
per acre in
the world. The majority of the 396 acres of the land has never
been wetland. Only 58 acres are delineated as wetland.
100,000 truckloads (1.2 million cubic yards) of prime
agricultural soils to another site is MINING! Mining
is NOT permitted in the Shoreline Master Plan.
Tell the Commissioners that you
do not want to lose another acre of Skagit’s farmland and ask
them to hear the appeal and deny the permits and do not sign the
banking instrument. Please ask
your friends to speak up
PLEASE TELL THE COMMISSIONERS
YOU OPPOSE THIS PROJECT and THEIR REFUSAL TO HEAR THE
APPEAL EVEN IF YOU CONTACTED THEM BEFORE!
Why FOSC Appealed
SHORELINE CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT for Clear Valley wetland
The Skagit Shoreline Management
Master Plan is a part of the Skagit Comprehensive Plan and
forbids certain activities within rural shoreline areas (the
Clear Valley project is inside a rural shoreline area).
For example, mining, excavating, dredging, filling and other
activities which disrupt the shorelines are prohibited.
FOSC wrote the Department of Ecology (DOE) asking them to
consider additional information to the Hearing Examiner's
decision, the Clear Valley applications and the scant
information forwarded by Skagit County Planning & Development
Services for DOE's review. We were told DOE would accept
and read the information. DOE, Bellingham approved the
conditional use permit before reading ANY of the information
Friends delivered to them. The reason given was that
Friends would be appealing the permit, so it didn't matter if
DOE approved it.
The Shoreline Substantial
Development Permit is NOT REVIEWED by DOE, but simply passed on
DOE is responsible for upholding the
intent and letter of the Shoreline Management Act which every
county has adopted. Skagit County's Shoreline Management
Plan and Comprehensive Plan clearly prohibits the activities
planned in the Nookachamps Basin by the Clear Valley project.
DOE is not acting in the public interest when it does not even
consider the actual activities of the proposed project. To read
Friends letter to Dick Grout, Bellingham Field Manager, DOE
FOSC considers this a denial of
access to due process. FOSC sent the letter to DOE to the
Legislature, Governor Gregoire, and Federal Congressional
representatives for their review. To read Friends' letter
Weekly News Guest Editorial
For more information on wetland banks
here.For more news, please