Home » The Charter Amendments will harm the local building industry, real estate, property development and all levels of home ownership.

The Charter Amendments will harm the local building industry, real estate, property development and all levels of home ownership.

Oct 8, 2021

Please be aware of the facts and vote to reject these proposals!

Amendment 1 adds new language: “Let us acknowledge we reside on the ancestral lands and waters of the Coast Salish people who have called this place home since time immemorial,”

We cannot and should not speak for the tribes and at all levels, the existing permitting process is already wide open to include tribal influence that is protective of their cultural resource. This is yet another redundancy which ignores current State and County rules and policies. The
amendment also adds: “For the good of both our community and nature, including the protection of undeveloped lands and the strong enforcement of codes and regulations.”

This is a philosophical amendment that goes beyond what we already are required to do and elevates “rights of nature” above owner’s rights. It is certain to make permitting for a single-family residence more difficult. Vote to reject Amendment 1.

Amendment 3 will place a non-elected Climate and Environment Commission in direct oversight of the building and planning departments whose mission it will be to ensure compliance over “environmental restoration and health, and green energy production and independence, along with the encouragement of individual practices to promote sustainability. The Climate and Environment Commission will provide a mechanism . . . in the County’s efforts to address climate change and protect our natural environment.” The building industry in San Juan County is already burdened by regulation that adds more costs to housing than almost anywhere in the state. Do we need an unelected Commission of agenda driven activists watching our every move? This will make all types of home construction and land use in the islands more expensive to build or more unaffordable affordable at all levels….as always,
first time home builders will be most affected or even excluded from homeownership. Vote to reject Amendment 3.

All employers are subject to state and federal laws regarding non-discrimination. Charter Amendment(s) 5 & 6 adds an additional layer of regulation on top of this. There will be a non-elected Justice Commission (required to include at least one non-resident tribal member) who will decide if a local contractor may be eligible to bid on county contracts. This is another redundant regulation beyond current State and Federal Equal Opportunity Laws that all employers are mandated to comply with. Simply put, it’s a solution in search of a problem!

Potentially, local contractors bidding on a county contract could be subject to added rules that
off- island contractors are not. This includes “body type, age, and status as a care provider for dependents, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.” (Paternity leave may be mandatory in some cases), Hiring labor locally is difficult now. This could make it even more difficult with new management hurdles too. Vote to reject Amendments 5 & 6. 

None of the proposed Charter Amendments are worth voting for but the above propositions are the worst. The amendments duplicate the protections afforded by state and federal law, other
San Juan County ordinances, and the efforts of numerous advisory boards already at work.

Spread the word!!! Vote to reject all 6 Charter Amendments!

And then include a link to the county site: https://www.sanjuanco.com/1764/Charter-Review-Commission