Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights
Restoring Private Property Rights Since 2003
Tony Zgraggen has thirty acres near Enumclaw. He has three contiguous ten-acre lots. Tony lives in a small room attached to his machine shed. Tony wanted to build his dream home on one of the lots, about where his tractor sits in the photo. The farmers who lease his property practice crop rotation between corn and hay. Corn does not grow well in wetlands.
When Tony applied for a building permit from King County he was told that he could not build his house because his property was Class 2 wetlands. King County uses different wetlands designations now but the result is still the same. No new development.
Across the road and slightly south (less than 1/4 mile) is a fire station. It was built while the same regulations that prevent Tony from building were in place. The only difference was private citizen versus governmental entity. As the second picture clearly shows the fire station property floods. Neither property is a wetland but King County does everything in its power to prevent citizen taxpayers from building on their properties in the rural area. This story clearly shows that saving "wetlands" is not in play here. Neither property is actually wetlands. The real story is abuse of power to promote an ideology.
This could be what lies in the future unless we all do something. Cities decide what property they want for the new line of transportation and take houses and property away from owners, condemn houses to be torn down so they can build what they want, on your old property. Note the boarded up house that will be torn down that can be seen under the new roadway in the air they have built with your tax dollars. You didn't even have a say in any of it.
When you got married and started raising your kids you bought land and built a nice house in the suburbs. Your kids had lots of room in their surroundings, lots of friends living in similar circumstances, and schools nearby that they all went to with the opportunity to develop close friendships. You had the foresight to buy extra land around your home thinking that eventually your kids too could build their dream homes nearby. Their families and your grandkids would be close to their grandparents and the special relationships that come with all that.
But instead you may find out the bureaucrats in city hall have decided your area has developed as far as is acceptable to them. Or you might have what they decided are wetlands where you grew crops until the kids were ready for the land. You may not be allowed to split your property as planned. Your kids are not allowed to build next door. Your dreams may be shattered by city hall.
Instead, they will be forced into living in small places, stacked together, their friends and neighbors now in the apartment next door, not across and down the street as you had planned for them. City hall instead has decided what's good for them. Available land to build is far away and way too expensive for your kids. Your nearby family dreams have been shattered by city hall.
Paul Thiry has a home on May Valley Road in the Renton, Washington highlands. In the early 1980s, May Creek was moved close to his home to make way for some new homes nearby. Moving the creek caused his home to start flooding. Mr. Thiry complained loudly enough that the King County Executive, Randy Revelle, came to May Valley to see the problem for himself. There was increased flooding in other parts of the county so Mr. Revelle created a new division of the King Count Department of Natural Resources called Surface Water Management Division. A new tax was placed on rural property to fund the efforts of Surface Wate Management.
By 2000 the county had collected $180,000,000 to manage surface water and flooding was dramatically worse all across the county. The steps to Mr. Thiry's house had also sucuumed to the flood waters. He tore them off and started to rebuild them. He received a stop work order (red flag) because he did not have a permit for the work of rebuilding three steps. Mr. Thiry is an architect so he drew up plans, filled out the application and submitted it all to King County. His application was denied on the basis that the two 4X4 posts he proposed to hold up his handrail would increase the flood level on his upstream neighbors. Those are the same neighbors for which the creek was moved in order to accomodate their homes.
Meanwhile, King County was forcing the state of Washington to place huge root wads with sections of stumps attached into May Creek approximately 150 yards downstream. The State was required to do so as "mitigation" for the redesign of the intersection of State Route 900 and May Valley Road where several people had died due to the inadequacies of the original design. People are no longer dying at that intersection so the increased flooding on Mr. Thiry's house is probably worth it but Mr. Thiry still has no steps.
You can get more information about this and see video as part of the May Valley Video.
American property rights are based on the fundament union of human labor and natural resources. Those who wish to change America to a collectivist state devoid of property rights achieved a stunning success by removing the once mighty timber industry from our vast renewable forests via the spotted owl. We now know that it is the bigger barred owl that threatens the spotted owl, not loggers, but the die has been cast. False accusations of harm to some species can be used to move people off the land.
Now that the loggers have been moved into the cities, the rural areas of the great Northwest are being attacked using salmon. We are told that human misuse of watersheds is causing the extinction of Pacific Salmon and that everyone living in those watersheds must move into the cities.
Many of the numbers used in this article are based on the work of Dr. Leonid Klyashtorin of the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography. He has been studying salmon fluctuations since 1980.
It is helpful to think of the North Pacific as the “pasture” for pacific salmon. Just like any pasture it has a maximum carrying capacity which varies from year to year based on the amount of food available from species lower in the food chain. The carrying capacity of the North Pacific for salmon is 1.4 to 1.7 million tons in periods of maximum production and 600 to 800 thousand tons in the minimum periods. We harvest about 70% of the fish so the harvestable amount will vary from 1.2 million tons to 420 thousand tons.
Dr. Klyashtorim has established that salmon and several other species both in the Pacific and the Atlantic achieve peak populations roughly every 60 years. The last peak cycle topped out in 1995 with a harvest of just less than 1 million tons. Shortly thereafter runs returning to Washington were declared endangered and the war against rural landowners was begun and continues.
You can read an overview questioning the salmon recovery efforts in the Northwest in the January-February 2006 issue of The Naked Fish. See Dr. Robert Crittendenï¿½s story of the sordid agenda behind salmon politics at http://capr.us/PDFs/Crittenden_Two_Studies.pdf (206 page pdf).
The United States of America was created as a Constitutional Republic as were the individual states. Local governments such as cities and counties are usually democracies though some have charters or similar instruments that serve much the same purpose as constitutions. Voters elect representatives to federal, state and local governments. Those representatives are supposed to govern based on the will of the majority while respecting the rights of minorities as provided in the constitutions.
Unfortunately, more and more governing is being done at the regional level by appointed boards of bureaucrats, politicians and activists that have not been elected to their regional position by anyone. They spend your tax dollars to decide how to manage the lives of everyone in their region with no regard for constitutional guarantees. Seats at the table are normally filled by hand-picked representatives of whatever agenda is being pushed. Property owners are usually under represented if they are represented at all.
Google WRIA, PSRC, ABAG and MTC to see if any of these entities actually represent you.
(Reuters) - In a victory for advocates of private property rights, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday said a Florida property owner may be owed compensation from a government agency that declined to aw...more
The original article at this page is good but the discussion in the comments at the bottom of the page is outstanding....more
How about a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program? The problem was that CO2 is not a pollutant, and therefore the EPA had no authority to cap its emission. Al Gore took office in 1993 and almost immedi...more
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"Property is theft." Proudhons classic anarchist paradox is more than a catchy slogan for international leftism. It encapsulates a complete and comprehensively absurd view of humanity -- one which f...more
“Sustainable communities” are the blueprint for future property development in the Bay Area of California. You will be told where to live and how to commute. You will be “encouraged” to use public tr...more
SANDPOINT — Bonner County is pressing ahead with efforts to challenge the designation of habitat for endangered woodland caribou.
The board adopted a resolution Tuesday insisting that the U.S. Fish...more
Olympia, Wash. — In January 2007, Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) became chairman of a congressional subcommittee that gave him the power to secure millions in federal funds to environmental projects in his...more
When Julie Bass planted a vegetable garden in her front yard, the last thing she expected was facing jail time for refusing to remove the plants....more
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The industrial revolution that began about 200 years ago has changed humanity’s relation to, an...more
Across the country, private citizens and business owners are joining forces with Tea Party activists to push back against well-funded green pressure groups that work with government officials. Over th...more
AUSTIN — The Texas House tentatively approved a bill on Wednesday that clamps down on governments' ability to seize property using eminent domain, an issue Gov. Rick Perry declared an emergency at the...more
ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. -- The country is colliding with suburbia southeast of Denver, where Elbert County commissioners Wednesday unanimously passed a proposed law on rubbish.
Ordinance 11-01 passed...more
TO BEGIN, consider one of the most important measures of property, the kilogram. It’s a measure of mass or, for non-scientific purposes, weight. According to the papers last week, a global scramble is...more
Twelve Madison Valley residents, tired of being flooded out of their homes, have won a nearly $2.5 million settlement with the city of Seattle.
They claimed the city chose to let their homes flood...more
This horrendous threat to our lifestyle and the Constitution is making rapid progress, infiltrating every aspect of our lives from the air we breathe to the food we eat. It has to be stopped and only...more
When my son came back from Kuwait he couldn’t believe it. He said, “Mom, what’s going on?” And I said, well they want to get rid of us and they’re finally doing it. He was upset. He said, “I’m...more
San Diego County Supervisors disagree over the effects of their new general plan for future growth in the unincorporated areas. The board is grappling with requests from more than 200 property owners...more
Homer property owners shouldn’t have it spelled out for them how many crab nets or recreational vehicles or cars can be stored on their property.
That was the consistent message to the Homer City Cou...more
Katy Grimes: The city of Sacramento is quickly on its way to infringing on the life, liberty and property rights of yet another business and land owner.
New American Poultry, a family owned Sacrame...more
Local officials are taking part in a six-figure League of California Cities media campaign to whip up public support for redevelopment.
The campaign centers on a petition warning legislators agains...more
Regarding the article “Bill would undo trout protection,” (AC-T, March 5), I have studied the rules of the N.C. Department of Natural Resources. The area of private property affected is much more than...more
I am very concerned, as we all should be, regarding what Delta City Council is trying to pull with Joyce and Rudy Rodriguez’s property rights! The “grandfather clause” was devised specifically to prot...more
The United States is often held out as the world's principal beacon of free-market principles. To the extent that it backslides, there is thought to be little hope for such principles in other countri...more
“Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: first, a right to life; secondly, to liberty; thirdly to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they...more
Property rights are collections of rights. In the first place: for something to be your property you must have the right to use or enjoy that thing. In the second place, you must have rights of contro...more
The beginning of another government school year is right around the corner, and with that comes your child’s first experience with the government’s attack on private property rights.
Now I know th...more
It is truly a tragic sign of the times, that to be in favor of private property is increasingly viewed as being extreme. Witness the manner in which the New Left demonizes the political right, sneerin...more
Advocates of land-use planning laws should celebrate rather than mourn the victory that the Oregon Supreme Court has granted to the estate of Dorothy English. If they are wise enough to respect this a...more
Democrats are reportedly planning to raise $125 million for a campaign to sell Obamacare to the voting public. Apparently the idea is that what 50-plus presidential speeches and statements and months...more
It would be nice to find effective means of alerting the public as to what’s happening to our property rights without necessarily shouting at the top of one’s lungs.
A more graceful way of comment...more
Walking the dog by her 1922 Tudor, a woman winces at two behemoth homes that eclipse hers from a block away. On Yale Avenue, another lives in the shadow of an ambitious builder's latest redesign and f...more
Among the several thousand articles I'm allegedly writing is one tentatively entitled The Horcrux Theory of Property. A confluence of events and ideas this week has prompted me to write about it here...more
In Auburn, New York, the city is threatening to invoke eminent domain to seize private property for a private hotel conference center, saying the public good outweighs the private property rights of s...more
The recent battle between a property owner and the Morrison Historic Preservation Commission in Illinois has again reinforced the importance of private-property rights.
The battle centers around a...more
Educate yourselves in Montana law, Dan Cox told more than 80 people at a Tuesday night meeting supporting repeal of Flathead County’s growth policy.
Only then, according to Cox, will private landow...more
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — Long before this town existed, there were Indians of that name who lived, camped, hunted, fished and grew maize in the woods and fields along the shoreline.
By Michelle Malkin • April 5, 2010 10:13 AM
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On March 11, Barclays Capital took out a full-page ad in the front section of the Wall Street Journal to declare that it is “proud” to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Barclays Center in the P...more
The U.S. Supreme Court surprised many when it decided it would review an unusual Florida property rights dispute this fall. That case, Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida, involves some of the mos...more
Forget its left-wing themes. At its core, the movie is about defending property rights — something conservatives should embrace.
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Property rights are under assault on at least six different fronts, from all branches and levels of government. The only encouraging news is that a seventh front - the beachfront property of Supreme C...more
The Washington Court of Appeals this week handed a major victory to a Lummi Island homeowner, represented by Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys, who has been blocked by county officials from protectin...more
Robert Redford is an example of the human species at its finest — rich and good-looking, I mean — so naturally he would never consent to live in anything so tawdry as a "subdivision." During his vi...more
An estimated 300 islanders crowded into Friday Harbor High School's Hall Gym on Tuesday to hear a panel of well-credentialed experts take issue with the state's best available science and pending chan...more
The County of Santa Barbara isn’t in the clear yet when it comes to litigation from Adam Brothers Farming, Inc., which had a lawsuit filed in federal court on its behalf by attorneys from the Pacific...more
Rural King County residents are fighting back against environmental restrictions imposed by Seattleites. And they’ve just won a key battle....more
A Supreme Court ruling limits the ability of outside groups to challenge past growth decisions in Thurston County, a decision that has ramifications for property owners, developers and environmentalis...more
Almost four years ago, urban area members of the King County Council launched an outrageous assault on property owners in the unincorporated areas of rural King County.
Over opposition from some o...more
In a July 7 decision, a panel of three Court of Appeals’ judges ruled that King County’s land clearing regulations, which are part of the so-called Critical Areas Ordinance that became effective in 20...more
In a case that could determine how far local governments can go in limiting forest-clearing across entire watersheds, a state appeals court ruled Monday that a King County law went too far.
RENTON, Wash. - King County may soon push for landlords to be held accountable in helping to shut down drug houses.
Councilman Reagan Dunn is pushing for an ordinance that would require landlords...more
A pitched battle between two ballot measures promising eminent domain reform - one of them backed by the California Farm Bureau - came to an end this week, with California voters choosing Proposition...more
On a forested parcel of land in Burien, above streams, wetlands and steep slopes, a new condo development is being built.
When it's done, the Westmark Development Company's Emerald Pointe condos, p...more
Everybody, it seems, wants to save Andrew Albert's farm.
The 90 acres of green hay fields and barns near Arlington hug the Stillaguamish River, which, with some restoration, could be home to abunda...more
The Cascade Land Conservancy is welcoming 1,800 of its closest friends to breakfast today. The annual awards program — the 13th — combines honors and coveted recognition of community leaders with the...more
Two dozen ranchers, contractors and real estate agents—most from the North County — asked county supervisors this week to delay or, preferably, kill the county’s long-awaited “smart growth” proposals,...more
The King County Council's comprehensive plan committee held a meeting last week at Snoqualmie Middle School to take input from the public on several proposals. The change proposed for Snoqualmie Valle...more
Conversion of forestland is at an all-time high and accelerating.
The main force behind this is the difference in the value of land for development, versus growing timber....more
Hanging in the Sarasota conference room of law firm Brigham Moore is an earth-tone print of six Plains Indians seated and standing around a table with a parchment copy of the U.S. Bill of Rights in th...more
Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.
When the government sells public land, the law usually requires competitive bids so taxpayers get the best deal.
But King County is bypassing that rule for one of its largest land sales in recent y...more
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, which is in charge of air-quality laws in the three counties, announced Monday that it is planning to impose a permanent ban on burning related to land clearing and a...more
I sent the following letter to each member of the King County Council regarding the taxes that will be levied to support the creation of the new ferry district and surprisingly, received only one repl...more
Half Moon Bay city officials said Thursday they are stunned by a federal judge's order that the city pay a landowner $36.8 million for coastal property the court says the city damaged....more
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is in the middle of a dramatic revision of the country's floodplain maps that could curb development on several billion...more
What's Measure 49 really about? The future. If Measure 49 passes, that future is bleak....more
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The rights of private property owners are being debated in Bonney Lake these days....more
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Homeowners in some parts of the state could see larger local property-tax increases as the result of a state Supreme Court ruling on Thursday....more
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The property-rights movement, said the speaker, "is not going away." He added, "At some level I think they're going to be successful."...more
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David Krick, aka,...more
Some Seattle school children are being told to be skeptical of private property rights. This lesson is being taught by banning Legos.
A ban was initiated at the Hilltop Children's Center ...more
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All Reason.com articles in the "Property Rights" topic.
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Pacific Legal Foundation is America's premiere freedom-oriented public-interest legal organization, fighting in the nation's courts for private property rights, economic freedom, racial equality and a balanced approach to environmental regulation.
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