Opinion

Glorified renters, unite!

When do you think about local government? When you get your garbage bill? Perhaps when you pay your property taxes? Well now you can look forward to more onerous intrusions into your day-to-day life courtesy of the comprehensive plan amendments and further government regulatory expansion.

If you are not familiar with the terms SAOD, TAOD and TDR, it is understandable. The 16 citizens that made the open house certainly had the opportunity to view the various overlay maps that will help to shape the development of the city of North Bend and enhance the fortunes of the local lawyers far into the future.

The SAOD will assign notification on your property title that you either have or are within 500 feet of a sensitive area as proposed by the SAOD map, based on the "best available science." Of course this standard is subject to change as better science becomes available and the SAOD expands. Why is this important? Well if you want to do anything to your property on or around the SAOD you will find out. If you want to appeal an SAOD designation to your property, prepare to hire experts to write reports, lawyers to argue the reports and to take a couple of months off of work to monitor the process.

The TAOD will simply dictate subjective screening of transitional areas between commercial and residential areas. How much will it cost? Nobody knows and apparently they don't care. At the last Planning Commission meeting, a proposal to simply drop the entire amendment lost by one vote. This amendment, as with all of the others, is just another governmental cure looking for a disease with an undefined price tag attached.

The TDR, or Transfer of Developments Rights program, is undefined and unaffordable to administer at the local level. North Bend does have an expert on the City Council that does this for a living at the county level, so why not throw it against the wall and see what sticks? You know, spaghetti policy making.

The City Council appears to be dedicated to the proposition that taxpayers and landowners are a resource to be "milked" so that they can continue to consolidate power via regulation and litigation. Please call your council members and stop these proposals before they take effect. Just don't call on a cell phone from your car. Remember, silence equals approval in their eyes.


Ross Loudenback

North Bend

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