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County foes launch petition drive
By Kevin Hanson
Those opposing King County's new Critical Areas Ordinance - and that includes a healthy portion of the Enumclaw Plateau's rural land owners - have started a petition drive to overturn the recent county legislation.
The movement is being spearheaded by the Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights, an Enumclaw-based group. The organization was jump-started a couple of years ago during a meeting at the Enumclaw Sales Pavilion with the late Kent Pullen, who represented the Plateau area as a member of the Metropolitan King County Council.
Pam Sias, a local referendum drive captain, said the group's goal is to obtain 12,000 signatures. The petition being circulated demands that county voters decide whether the three elements making up the Critical Areas Ordinance actually go into effect.
The group is hoping for a March 2005 vote.
CAO opponents have long contended the county is attempting to solve problems that don't exist, using inexact science to make its case. Additionally, they argue that the CAO tramples on their Constitutional rights, because it prohibits them from using their land and offers no financial compensation in return.
Proponents of the CAO argue the new rules are necessary to protect environmentally-sensitive areas of the county.
The CAO was passed in late October, strictly along party lines, by members of the County Council. The seven Democrats on the council outweighed the six Republican votes.
CAO opponents argue that it's more than simple partisan politics, making the case that the CAO pits urban interests against rural needs. In a prepared release, the Citizens' Alliance contends the CAO was passed by council members who represent only city dwellers; their constituents will never have to deal with the consequences of the legislation, the Alliance claims.
In the Enumclaw area, petitions are available at 10 businesses: Sales Pavilion, 22712 S.E. 436th St.; Krain Corner Restaurant at 264th Southeast and state Route 169; Jensen Sand and Gravel, 548 Dickson; Del's Farm Supply, 911 Griffin Ave.; King Feed, 223417 S.E. 436th St.; Enumclaw Suzuki, 408 Roosevelt Ave.; Les Schwab, 649 Griffin Ave.; DeVol Engineering, 741-D Stevenson Ave.; Enumclaw Gymnastics Center, 2251 Cole St.; and Mail Express, 718 Griffin Ave.
More information about petition-gathering is available by calling Sias at 360-825-9642 or Tony Zgraggen at 360-825-8463. More information about the referendum drive is available at the Citizens' Alliance Web site, www.proprights.org.
Kevin Hanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.