Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Update - Whitman County Agricultural Zoning Ordinance

There will be a regularly scheduled meeting of the Whitman County Planning Commission Wednesday, November 2, at 7:00 PM in the Public Service Building Auditorium, 310 N. Main, Colfax. The commission is expected vote on the draft Whitman County Agricultural Zoning Ordinance.

According to last Thursday's Whitman County Gazette, the proposed 750-foot limit for homes at an average slope greater than 2 percent from the centerline of any improved county road and 1,600 feet for lesser grades was dropped by the Whitman County Planning Commission. The other restrictions remain in place. The Planning Commission continues to assert that these other restrictions will not not be onerous and most residents will not have a problem meeting them.

The vote is non-binding and it it is up to the Whitman County Commissioners to adopt an ordinance. To this end, a petition to the commissioners has been circulating in the county asking them to drop the proposed revisions. A link to the online petition can be found to the right. As I write this, the online petition has 50 signatures, many of them from readers of this blog. Way to go guys! The Whitman County Gazette reported that 45 signatures had been obtained at Tick Klock Drug in Colfax. Other petitions are circulating throughout the county.

Mysteriously, Whitman County Commissioner Greg Partch told Brenda Dillard, one of the petition coordinators, that signatures from people "most affected" would carry more weight. That's funny, because EVERYONE in the county is affected by the proposed ordinance, as it directly affects the cost of housing EVERYWHERE in Whitman County, including Pullman.


Ray Lindquist said...

The part about what size of wattage for outside bulbs is what gets me. To think that they can think they have a right to tell a land owner that "Sorry sir that 150 watt bulb is to bright and you will have to replace it with a 75 watt bulb. (Iam not sure what the wattage limit will be, I use these just as an example)

April E. Coggins said...

Ray, that is the problem with this ordinance. It is too vague. The planning department and comissioners may have a loose interpretation now, but what about in ten years? And as vague as this law is written, what will stop someone from interpretating the rules one way for a friend and then reinterpreting the rules differently for an adversary. The Whitman County planning commision must propose a much more detailed ordinance. As proposed, this is an open ended, all encompasing initiative.

Ray Lindquist said...

Not only lights, they want to tell what kind of plants also, can you believe.

cc said...

yes, I can believe... sad, huh?