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LAND USE PLANNING

 

Permitting today is a plethora of unknowns.  Land use planners, surveyors, architects and land owners enter the arena with a plan and are sent out repeatedly to hire experts to prepare voluminous reports and proposals which the county then disputes.  We must provide certainty and predictability to applicants, enabling them to move forward with their projects in a timely manner.

 

Todays Critical Area requirements, found in Chapter 18.35 of the San Juan County Code are overly broad and burdensome.  In many places there is a conflict in code between the CAO and the Shoreline Master Plan.  These regulations are capable of multiple interpretations which has created a toxicity in the department and caused havoc and exponential costs and time delays with applicants.

 

I am very familiar with the San Juan Codes as they apply to critical areas, shoreline, building, development and permitting.  I can offer suggestions to streamline the regulations to make them more user friendly, while continuing to protect our precious environment.

 

Streamlining permit timelines, creating efficiencies like fast-track permits for simple remodels, and implementing binding pre-app reviews are essential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the permitting process. By ensuring consistency in land use planning and permitting, the county can facilitate responsible development, reduce bureaucratic barriers, and support the needs of residents, businesses, and the community as a whole.

Elect me and I will do everything I can to get us back on an even keel.  I know the regulations.  I know what is broken.  I have good advisors and good ideas.  The permitting authorities and the landowners can find a middle ground.  The County budget ($280M over two years)  could be reformed to eliminate expenses such as thousands for unnecessary studies and land grabs– and put those monies to good use –such as subsidizing affordable housing infrastructure costs or providing better affordable daycare opportunities.  There are surplus lands owned by the county which could be sold. 

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