Policy 9

Promote intellectually honest public discussion of growth management policy, environmental regulation and property rights.

No document promising an intellectually honest public discussion can begin without exposing what can only be described as the elitist attitude and thinking of the politically powerful urban wealthy. In the 1700's and 1800's, the rich and powerful urbanites portrayed Native Americans as simple minded children who needed to be guided and educated by adults. And, since children could not own property, their claims of land ownership were somehow not as legitimate as a European’s claim to that same property. In reality, Native Americans had thousands of years of wisdom, knowledge and stewardship experience. The politically correct "truth" of that time simply was an excuse that allowed the dishonest and greedy in power to more easily steal the land. Often when compensation and food was promised, it simply disappeared into the hands of dishonest agents and bureaucrats.

In an eerily similar situation, we now have urban politicians and bureaucrats who dictate the uses of private rural land and speak of "educating" rural property owners. Bureaucrats openly promote regulations that simply take 65 percent of rural parcels. Fees collected for mitigation disappear into bureaucracies to be used to gather more fees. Permission must be asked and fees paid before legitimate use of private property is "allowed.".

Certainly, society faces a long list of environmental concerns; pollution of the deep ocean, over-fishing, loss of estuaries and saltwater mudflats, loss of floodplains, sediment control and water management. However, in an honest discussion we must be clear who has benefited from the destruction of the environment. Our urban neighbors must accept responsibility for the vast majority of environmental damage. Whether we look at impervious surface area, air pollution or discharge of chemicals and effluent the simple truth is that the urban areas have consistently generated the majority of the damage. It is often stated that the urban areas are permanently damaged and cannot be recovered, thus the responsibility of mitigating the damage rests with the rural landowners. That argument fails to recognize that the benefits associated with the environmental damage continue to flow in a steady stream of cash rents and taxes to the urban landowners, governments and public employees.

In an incredibly cynical move, local politicians and governmental agencies are not only refusing to accept their role in the current situation, but have been deliberately shifting the cost of environmental mitigation to a small number of rural property owners. Those property owners are effectively being punished with restrictions and fines for preserving their land, topsoil and habitat. At the same time, urban development and governments continue to be rewarded for so completely destroying the environmental value of their land. The Growth Management Act forces densities on urban parcels to drastically increase, bringing increased revenue to both the owners and their erstwhile governments, while rural properties are stripped of much of their long-term potential. In what is the single largest transfer of wealth in state history, state and local government have taken much of the wealth of rural property owners and replaced it with the burden of mitigating for the environmental damage of their urban neighbors.

Environmental policy and regulation in a fair and rational world must:

  • be intellectually honest and fair.
  • be grounded in real science and environmental need.
  • be supervised by agencies with integrity and free of manipulative and coercive behavior.
  • reward Individuals who preserve natural soils, farmland, open space and valuable environmental areas.
  • require those who have benefited economically from development, conversion of rural open spaces to urban uses and the use/destruction of natural resources to pay in direct proportion to the benefit received.
  • Politics is the art of stopping people from minding their own business. —Paul Valery

    Supreme Court rule for Florida property owner in land use case

    (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


    The Fiscal Cliff and the Showdown Between Redistribution and Property Rights

    The original article at this page is good but the discussion in the comments at the bottom of the page is outstanding.


    ‘Tulip Mania’: Agenda 21′s Carbon Nuts Getting Money For Nothing

    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


    REED: Wayne Hage and the rout of property rights: An American tragedy

    It didn’t make headlines, but it should have. A July 26 ruling released to little fanfare by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., was a landmark blow to proper


    America can't trust the public trust

    In March 1972, in the case of Lynch v. Household Finance Corp., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "A fundamental interdependence exists between the personal right to liberty and the personal right in


    The Last Line of Defense: Property

    "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


    Sustainable Communities’ Impact on Property Rights

    “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


    Bonner County moves for caribou coordination

    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


    Earmark investigation: Rep. Norm Dicks and Puget Sound

    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


    Woman faces jail time for planting vegetable garden in front yard

    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.


    Economists in the Wild

    Far from damaging brains and killing seals, applying basic economics to the environment preserves it.

    The industrial revolution that began about 200 years ago has changed humanity’s relation to, an


    Tea Party network emerges as counterbalance to state-level green pressure groups

    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


    Texas House passes property rights bill

    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


    One Man's Trash Is Another's Treasures

    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


    The Floating Dollar as a Threat to Property Rights

    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


    Residents win $2.5M settlement after blaming Seattle for floods

    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



    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


    BIG NEWS: Federal Court Halts Shocking Property Rights Abuse

    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


    San Diego County Supervisors Disagree About Private Property Rights

    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


    Property rights upheld Monday

    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


    City’s Beef With A Poultry Processor

    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


    City officials rally for redevelopment; Brown wants to divert money to other uses

    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


    Don't take away private property rights with buffers

    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


    City council shouldn’t be messing around with property rights

    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


    Populist before it was capitalist

    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


    Thomas Sowell on Property Rights

    “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


    The Retributive Theory of Property

    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


    Neal Boortz: Take note of Marx’s mark in classroom

    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


    Independence and the Right to Private Property

    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


    Dorothy English is not the end of the story on land-use planning abuse

    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


    Americans relate to Founders, not Progressives

    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


    The battle to preserve property rights is in danger of being lost

    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


    Ugly debate embroils beautiful Salt Lake City neighborhood

    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


    The Horcrux Theory of Property

    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


    Hotel Conference Center May Trump Private Property in Eminent Domain Case

    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


    Historic Preservation vs. Private-Property Rights

    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


    Man urges repeal of growth plan

    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


    Ancient Indian Village in Rhode Island Pits Preservation Against Property Rights

    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.

    Now, archaeologica


    S.F.’s housing mob and the death of property rights

    By Michelle Malkin • April 5, 2010 10:13 AM

    I’ve reported many times about the housing entitlement mob over the past several years. Boston has self-proclaimed bank terrorist and housing entitlement


    Banks, Basketball, and Property Rights

    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


    Setting Boundaries for Property Rights

    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


    Avatar’s hidden pro-property message

    Forget its left-wing themes. At its core, the movie is about defending property rights — something conservatives should embrace.

    Conservatives have been very critical of the Golden Globe-winning fi


    Erosion of ownership rights

    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


    PLF scores win in fight to save Puget Sound homeowner’s property

    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


    No economic reality for Redford

    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

    Experts: County should focus regulatory energies on upland areas rather than shorelines

    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


    65% Taking Declared Illegal


    County Sued in Federal Court

    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


    Can't Keep Them Down on the Farm

    Rural King County residents are fighting back against environmental restrictions imposed by Seattleites. And they’ve just won a key battle.


    Limitations put on challenges to growth

    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


    Rural property owners win one

    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


    Court rules against KC land clearing regs

    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


    King County's rural-land restrictions go too far, court rules

    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.

    Rural p


    Landlords may be held accountable for drug houses

    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


    Eminent domain measures' battle ends

    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


    Old law lets developers use old rules, thwarting Puget Sound protection, critics charge

    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


    Paying landowners to protect Puget Sound

    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


    The Cascade Agenda: a new conversation

    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


    ‘Smart growth’ plan met with opposition

    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,


    Pilot project, or land grab?

    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


    Support landowners who keep their property in forestry

    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.


    Property rights are lawyer's passion

    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


    Forget global warming: Welcome to the new Ice Age

    Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.


    Big land deal, big questions

    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


    Permanent burn ban planned in rural areas

    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


    Let ferry users pay

    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


    $36.8 million award for undevelopable land

    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.


    Bigger floodplain, bigger worries

    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


    Proposal jeopardizes future property rights

    What's Measure 49 really about? The future. If Measure 49 passes, that future is bleak.


    King County raises taxes to rebuild levees

    King County residents will pay an additional $32 million in property taxes next year to rebuild levees that protect low-lying areas from floods.


    Property rights group forms to fight Upper Sims project in Port Townsend

    PORT TOWNSEND - A property rights group has formed to fight a proposed redesign of Upper Sims Way and creation of a taxing district to finance the project.


    Property rights battle rages in Bonney Lake

    The rights of private property owners are being debated in Bonney Lake these days.


    A little "donut hole" creating a big problem for Maple Valley

    MapleValley marks its 10th anniversary this week. The desire for self-determination of how the Maple Valley area would develop, and frustration and disagreement with the vision that King County held f


    Higher taxes? Court clears way

    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.


    U.S. Sues Property Rights Ranchers Over Grazing on Federal Lands

    WASHINGTON, DC, August 30, 2007 (ENS) - The U.S. Justice Department Wednesday sued two ranchers and the estate of a third rancher for trespassing on federal lands in Nevada. The ranchers, both living


    On property rights, no better friend

    John McCain has done a service to the conservative cause by injecting the issue of private property rights into the presidential campaign.


    Foot ferries nearing a rebirth

    A new-style Mosquito Fleet could ferry passengers across Puget Sound, and maybe even Lake Washington, under a plan approved unanimously Monday by the King County Council.


    County parks levies get panel's OK

    The Metropolitan King County Council has moved a step closer to asking voters in the August primary to levy $217 million in property taxes to maintain and expand parks.


    Making a loud noise for fair use of property

    The property-rights movement, said the speaker, "is not going away." He added, "At some level I think they're going to be successful."


    Mole traps can lead to mountain of trouble

    The surveillance meant hours in an unmarked car, staring down at a Kenmore home, waiting for something to happen. But, in the end, wildlife officer Lance Stevens Jr. got his man.

    David Krick, aka,


    L'Eggo My Lego

    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

    CAPR has given birth!

    It's official. CAPR has a brand new San Juan chapter due to the organizing efforts of Frank Penwell. Frank has rounded up some willing helpers and has started our first official chapter. Stayed tuned


    Regulation chokes housing market

    For many years, people of all income levels were able to buy homes in the Puget Sound region because there were houses available within affordable price ranges. Today, a shocking proportion of the pop


    "Nothing is ours which another may deprive us of." —Thomas Jefferson

    Copyright 2009 Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights