To the editor:
Will the new Shoreline Master Program rules actually help clean up Puget Sound? If not, why are we doing this?
If the overriding issue of the SMP is the cleanliness of Puget Sound, and we know that 90 percent of the pollution of the Sound is paved road run-off, why aren’t we devoting time and energy to reducing runoff from upland properties that pollute Puget Sound? What about oily road grime that flows directly into Puget Sound through storm drains? What are we doing about failing drain fields that leak into the Sound?
When the Bremerton fast ferry literally destroyed the marine environment along the south shore of the island and huge ancient bull kelp beds were wiped out, did the city or county step in to help? No! Instead affected homeowners along the water were left to fight on their own to arrest the destruction.
And now along comes the SMP. Our city leaders have devoted an inordinate amount of time and energy to vast new regulations that will cost the city to both defend (legally) and enforce.
Reading through these regulations, they seem petty and worse - they seem to divide the island into shoreline versus non-shoreline. The responsibility for all the runoff has been dumped on waterfront homeowners who are told they have no choice but to comply.
Instead of being a friend and partner and defender fighting for the most intelligent and far-reaching solutions our government has become an adversary and recklessly cavalier about property rights - property rights that are the bedrock of our republic. They seem completely oblivious to concrete steps that could be taken to really clean up the Sound.
Why in the world would the council, responsible for the entire Island, create an unfortunate us-against-them mentality? Is our city going to lose a precious opportunity to really clean up Puget Sound because it has diminished the issue to a jealous quest to use the power of government to right imagined wrongs?