Our mission is to protect the habitat of Puget Sound tidelands from the underregulated expansion of new and intensive shellfish aquaculture methods. These methods were never anticipated when the Shoreline Management Act was passed. They are transforming the natural tideland ecosystems in Puget Sound and are resulting in a fractured shoreline habitat. In South Puget Sound much of this has been done with few if any meaningful shoreline permits and with limited public input. It is exactly what the Shoreline Management Act was intended to prevent.

Get involved and contact your elected officials to let them you do not support aquaculture's industrial transformation of Puget Sound's tidelands.

Governor Inslee:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pierce County Cancels Meetings for Shoreline Managment Program Update

Update 7/27: After investing a substantial sum with financial advisors and attorneys, the PJ Taggares group has withdrawn its IPO through which it had hoped to raise over $40 million.

Update 7/16:  Pierce County will hold a meeting July 21 to listen to citizen comments on proposed amendments to their Shoreline Master Program update. 
Time - 1:30PM
Location - 
County City Building, Room 1045
930 Tacoma Avenue South

So much to do, so little time
Unable to draft amendments in time for community SMP Update meetings previously scheduled for the month of July, Pierce County has cancelled the meetings (see below for announcement). This is now the second time a set of meetings has been cancelled.

How were we to know?
Apparently caught flat footed when citizens from Tapps Lake and other shoreline property owners complained about not being aware of a process which has been going on since 2006, some Council members allied themselves with Senator Roach (also the mother of Council Chair Dan Roach) who called for a "bi-partisan" meeting. There the Department of Ecology was invited and, for lack of better words, put on public display for Senator Roach to chide.

Follow-up meeting at the Seattle Yacht Club
At that meeting the full force of those who believed their property rights were threatened by regulations designed to protect the nearshore environment were put in play. A follow-up meeting was held at the Seattle Yacht Club, with notification going to most who left their email address on the sign in sheet. There, the PJ Taggares attorney from Perkins Coie presented his legal logic for why the Critical Area Ordiance and Shoreline Management Act should be weakened if not dismantled.

Hands out for legal help
Also in attendance was the conservative land use group Common Sense Alliance (based in Friday Harbor on Orcas Island), also using Perkins Coie attorney Sandy Mackie. Made up of developers, real estate agents, and others who would benefit from being allowed greater developments rights along the shorelines of Washington, a plea was made for additional donations to meet their current $60,000 "obligation" to Perkins  Coie. CSA also notes they have "committed over $400,000" over the past 4 years (ProPublica notes donations in 2011 and 2012 totaled $155,997). (see earlier post on CSA here)

Hot potato/French potato/Stock for sale
It is unclear why the PJ Taggares company is unable to help with the $60,000 "obligation". As one of the largest land holders in Washington they are the ones who would clearly benefit the most with these programs being dismantled, allowing faster development of their land holdings. While better known for their potatoes, also included in the Taggares holdings are a number of waterfront parcels on Blakely Island in San Juan County where the CSA group is based out of (Friday Harbor). While unknown, it is possible the current attempt to issue stock to raise $48 million to fund the $30 million purchase of a family vineyard/orchard and other large farmland/orchard parcels requires a more quiet back seat role (see the preliminary prospectus here).

Slip sliding away
In the mean time, Puget Sound's intertidal habitat area continues to come under further pressures from the shellfish industry while counties flounder in their update process. In Pierce County, Taylor Shellfish has announced plans for a 25 acre geoduck farm in Burley Lagoon. In Mason County, a permit exemption has been issued to Seattle Shellfish for a geoduck farm on a 20 acre parcel adjacent to McMicken Island State Park. Counties, being  unable to make decisions, instead rely on old regulations for siting of aquaculture, developed when aquaculture was simply placing shells onto tidelands and hand harvesting. It is no longer Grandpa's shellfish farm.

Posted on: June 24, 2014

County Council suspends district meetings on Shoreline Management Program

Members of the Pierce County Council have announced the postponement of a series of meetings around the county to hear from residents about the proposed Shoreline Management Program. The delay is necessary in order to give the county more time to draft amendments to the proposal, among other reasons.
“We were all looking forward to listening to constituent concerns next month, but we’re committed to this process and the voice of the people will be heard,” said Council Chair Dan Roach. “This is one of the most important issues facing the county right now and we want to make sure we get it right the first time.”
The upcoming Shoreline Management Program meetings that are now postponed were originally scheduled for July 10 at North Lake Tapps Middle School, July 14 at Pacific Lutheran University, July 17 at Peninsula High School, and July 21 at the County-City Building in downtown Tacoma. Also suspended is the final plan adoption meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 29.
Residents who want to express their opinions to the Council can keep track of the latest information and be notified of rescheduled meetings by subscribing to the county’s Shorelines Mailing List.
Pierce County has been regulating development along rivers, lakes and marine waters for over 40 years. The existing program and development regulations were adopted in the early 1970's. In 2003, the Washington State Legislature established a schedule for all counties and cities to update their programs.
The Washington State Department of Ecology is responsible for administering shoreline management at the state level in partnership with local government. Ecology's website for shoreline management is located at: www.ecy.wa.govlprograms/sea/shorelines.
Dan Roach, Pierce County Council chair

No comments:

Post a Comment