Irons to be commended

In his letter to the editor published April 5, Tom Andrewjeski says King County Councilman David Irons sold out to gravel and real-estate interests. Mr. Andrewjeski argues that Councilman Irons' votes on recent land-use decisions favors these interests to the detriment of residents. Developers vs. preservationists.

What is often lost in this debate is that conservatives like Mr. Irons, who believe in property rights, support policies that benefit landowners. Most landowners are not in the gravel or real-estate business.

The Kombol up-zone referred to by Mr. Andrewjeski was a technical rezone done to match surrounding zoning. Mr. Kombol owns much land in more rural areas that have been subject to repeated down-zones over the years. Down-zones adversely effect property values.

Mr. Andrewjeski also mentions King County Executive Ron Sims, the Audubon Society and others who support a variety of policies, including more regulations (priced a building permit lately?), more land-use restrictions (just try to clear land for a horse pasture) and yet another drastic down-zone with no compensation to the landowners affected.

Members of King County Citizens for Property Rights can take some credit for defeating the rural-area down-zones proposed by Executive Sims during the 2000 comprehensive plan update. We won because we were able to convince seven members of the King County Council that this latest down-zone was unfair and unreasonable. Mr. Irons' support helped thousands of rural landowners maintain their land values.

The Snoqualmie Valley is pristine because the landowners take good care of their land. Rural lands in east King County will be only modestly developed under current zoning. They will continue to contribute much in environmental benefits such as scenic vistas, aquifer recharge, wildlife habitat, etc. The people who own these lands should not be penalized for being good stewards of the land. We appreciate David Irons' support and will, in turn, show our support by seeing to it that he remains in office.

Preston Drew


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