Action Alert - Public Hearing
Changes considered to the Unified Development Code
Snohomish County Council
8th Floor, New
TELL THE COUNTY COUNCIL YOU DO NOT WANT TO ELIMINATE THE CIVIL OPTION TO PROTECT NEIGHBORS AND WATER QUALITY!
The County Council will be accepting both written and oral comments about changes they may consider to the Unified Development Code. One change in particular that is of great concern to Futurewise and Pilchuck Audubon Society, is the recommendation made by the Council-appointed Technical Oversight Committee that would eliminate the county’s option to treat code enforcement as anything other than a crime.
Right now, the county has the choice of working with people who violate the county’s regulations to protect neighbors and water quality informally, as a civil violation, or in extreme cases as a crime. This allows the county to tailor the penalty to the seriousness of the violation.
This hearing is the public’s first opportunity to voice concerns and to tell the Council that the change would affect their quality of life by virtually shutting down all protections of our health, safety and welfare from people who violate protections for neighbors and water quality.
Right now county staff can tailor its response to these violations to resolve the problem in the quickes and best way. If the county can no longer use civil procedures to solve these problems, then the county would have to charge every code violation as a crime. This will be expensive, slow, hard to prove, and may involve people who unintentionally violate the county codes in an expensive and time consuming criminal process. It would take away the anonymity of those who complain about a code violation, it would require evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, and it would take the process from the Hearing Examiner to Superior Court -- a very costly, time consuming process.
For more information, please contact Linda Kuller, Snohomish County PDS, 425-388-3311.
(Forwarded by Bev from Futurewise)
Response or comments can presumably be sent by e-mail but I will have to track down the address. Watch for another Blog with information, or look here for an update.