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Carnation joins I-933 opposition

Carnation joined dozens of other Washington cities, including Snoqualmie, opposing Initiative 933 Oct. 10 when its City Council adopted an ordinance against the measure.

"We could not in good conscience keep silent on an issue that has the potential to be very damaging to our community," said Carnation Mayor Bill Paulsen. "While we are very respectful of private property rights, we cannot ignore our responsibility to serve the best interests of our community and I-933 is not in the best interest of the city and the citizens of Carnation."

The initiative - dubbed the "property fairness" initiative - would require compensation when government regulation damages the use or value of private property, would forbid regulations that prohibit existing legal uses of private property and would provide exceptions or payments for property owners when regulations affect land use. It is one of several statewide initiatives that will be on the ballot Nov. 7.

If passed in November, the Washington State Farm Bureau-backed initiative would roll back zoning to pre-1996, prior to the state's adoption of the Critical Areas Ordinance.

The Carnation City Council held a public hearing Oct. 3, taking testimony for and against the initiative. Council members said they recognized that some of the concerns of proponents of I-933 are valid. However, the council concluded that the initiative would be harmful to the city's future.

The resolution, which passed unanimously, says I-933 is too vague and would "severely impede" the city's ability to control development and growth.

Carnation joined dozens of cities around the state in opposing the measure, including most cities in King County. Auburn, Bellevue, Covington, Issaquah, Kent, Kirdland, Maple Valley, Redmond, Renton and Sammamish city councils have all officially taken a stance against the initiative.

Snoqualmie became the state's first city to oppose the initiative Aug. 14. Council members voted 5-0 to oppose the initiative, with two members abstaining. There are now about a dozen cities that have taken a stance against the initiative.

Though North Bend has not officially opposed the measure, several council members urged voters at their Oct. 17 meeting to study the issue closely to make an informed decision.

"I have some concerns of my own [about I-933]," said North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing. "This could be very long-reaching for us."

No matter which way voters choose to vote on the measure, Hearing urged people to vote informed.

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