If this isn’t already in your community, IT IS COMING! It is EVERYWHERE, including the American Redoubt. But how many other places in north America will you find such an assertive resistance against this globalist agenda.
PAY ATTENTION TO THIS STORY! Even if you’re not from north Idaho. This was just sent in by a couple listeners, reposted from the New American. The patriots over in Kootenai County, Idaho are fighting against Agenda-21, and they bloodied the noses of the ringleaders.
Pay attention and learn the tactics of the Kool-Aid-drinking county commissioners, and the ever-vigilant patriots alike, and how this war for and against American land owners and Americanism is being waged.
This must be fought tooth and nail!
Victory (Temporarily) in Round 1 for Property Rights in Kootenai County, Idaho
Written by William F. Jasper
“The county planners want to plan our lives and control our property, but they can’t even plan a meeting,” an angry property owner commented at the Kootenai County Planning Commission meeting at the Kootenai County Court House in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Monday evening, June 17. The expressions of anger and exasperation grew as the overflow crowd of nearly 300 tried to pack into a 150-capacity room to comment on the proposed new Unified Land Use Code, a comprehensive rewrite (and vast expansion of) the county’s existing land use regulations, which were already the source of much discontent.
The meeting was the first of a planned four-meeting series that was scheduled to run each evening from June 17-20, with each night covering several chapters of the new 500-page ULUC Draft. Sparks began flying (metaphorically) from the start. The Coeur d’Alene Fire Department came to the rescue a little over an hour into the volatile meeting, informing the Commission that the gathering was over capacity and in violation of the fire code. This spared county officials from more blistering comments from area residents. It also gave Kootenai County residents a reprieve, as Wes Hanson, the planning commission chairman, announced that the meeting would be adjourned and continued in a new series of meetings scheduled at a larger venue.
Much of the concern and outrage expressed at the commission meeting by property owners stems from the fact that the new “comprehensive plan,” the ULUC, is more than double the page count of the existing code, and, as might be expected from that expansion, contains many more regulations, prohibitions, restrictions, mitigations, impact fees, permit requirements, and much more. Another common complaint, both from property owners and professionals who regularly deal with these matters, such as realtors, appraisers, consultants, and attorneys, is that the ULUC is vague and confusing, with many terms undefined or ill-defined, opening the door for county administrators, inspectors, and regulators to cite and fine property owners for many normal activities and uses now permitted under the current code. Still another point of contention is that many (if not most) property owners in the rural areas most affected by the new plan did not even know about the revision and the extent of the changes and the impact it would have until they were presented with a near fait accompli very recently.
Planning commission chairman Wes Hanson opened the Monday meeting by explaining the rules for taking comments from property owners that had signed up to speak, each for three minutes. Grumbles and frustrated comments from the crowd had already begun. Hanson then turned the meeting over to Bret Keast, president and owner of Kendig Keast Collaborative, the Colorado-based company that wrote the new code. Keast began, using a slide presentation, to explain chapters 1-3 of the new ULUC. He didn’t get very far before the grumbles turned into shouts: “You’re wasting our time”; “He’s taking up all our time”; “We didn’t come here for this”; “When does the public get to comment?”
“Out of order” — but on target
One man was making a similar comment when Hanson said, “You’re out of order.”
“I know I’m out of order,” the man retorted, “and I’m exiting, but that’s the whole point. This is typical. You want to wear everybody down with all the time taken up [by Keast] and no seating and no time for us to comment.”
From the resounding applause and cheers he received, it was clear that the departing dissident was expressing the feelings of the vast majority of those in attendance. Someone from the crowd shouted: “Why didn’t you schedule a larger room, there’re people clear down the halls and outside?” Another person shouted: “This meeting is in violation of the fire code; does the Fire Department know about this?” Someone apparently took a cue from this comment to report the over-capacity crowd to the Fire Department. After taking comments from six property owners, including two representatives of Avista Power Company, and a five-minute recess, the meeting resumed with an announcement by chairman Hanson: Per orders of the Fire Department, all those not occupying chairs would have to leave the room. This created an instant commotion with a welter of angry comments.
One woman who was seated stood up and shouted: “If you make the people who are standing leave, we’re ALL walking!” Several people responded instantly with “Yeah!” and “Just scrap the plan!”
Scrap the plan? Many say yes
Someone shouted out, “Get a bigger room and do this right!” It was clear that folks were not going to go along with any proceeding that would evict half of the property owners who had come to comment and get answers to their questions. Faced with this showdown, Hanson huddled with the rest of the commissioners then returned to the microphone to announce that the series of meetings would be rescheduled to a larger venue at a later date. “Are we going to be legally notified, not railroaded?” someone asked from the audience. “Will we get the legally-required 30-day notice?” someone else asked. Several people called out that they should plan for a thousand or more because the crowd would be even bigger next time. Some called out that they should have scheduled it at the high school auditorium or the county fair grounds.
Hanson assured the crowd that once the commission found an alternative venue that the public would be notified — by newspaper, Internet, and U.S. Postal Service — at least 15 days in advance, which he said was the legal requirement. The county attorney subsequently corrected him, noting that the legal requirement is 28 days advance notice to the public.
Hanson apologized that the seating capacity was inadequate and told the crowd he had had nothing to do with scheduling the venue. He assured the audience that the testimony already given would be entered into the record and the follow-up meetings would be moved “to a date uncertain,” with the deadline for comments extended to the last meeting.
As the meeting broke up, many members of the audience were obviously elated and relieved at the outcome. “We didn’t get it rammed down our throats; we stopped them — at least temporarily,” one man commented to several others. “They need to throw the whole thing out and start over,” said another, expressing a common sentiment of many who were present.
Gary Mitchell, with the North West Property Owners Alliance (NWPOA) told The New American that the evening’s forced postponement of the ULUC was a victory of sorts, but that his organization is working to make sure an even larger assembly of informed property owners will come out to the next series of ULUC meetings. Mitchell agrees with many others that the ULUC is so fatally flawed that it should be tossed out and a new plan drawn up that would protect property rights and allow rural property owners to genuinely participate in the process. At least one of the members of the county planning commission, John Malloy, told The New American that he too favors scrapping the ULUC and starting over.
The County Commissioners, however, still may not have gotten the message, to judge by their statements the following day. As reported by the Coeur d’Alene Press on June 19, the commissioners did not seem sympathetic to the concerns of the crowd expressed the night before. “We really don’t need more time for reviewing documents,” County Commissioner Dan Green was quoted as saying.
Commissioner Jai Nelson seems to be convinced that the problem is not with the ULUC itself but with the assumed ignorance of the rural property owners. “I am sure we can make headway there, but we’ll never make it simple enough for everyone,” Nelson said. “I think the real problem is public education.”
“From this process it’s obvious we aren’t going to have a Kumbaya moment,” Commissioner Todd Tondee said. “I don’t think we will be able to educate all of them. Some of them don’t want to be educated.”
Bob Bingham, founder of the North West Property Owners Alliance, finds these kinds of statements from public officials offensive. His group has been holding educational meetings all across the county, he says, and has found that property owners from all walks of life want to know about the ULUC. And they’re not all a bunch of ignorant bumpkins, contrary to what the County Commissioners and out-of-state consultants may think.
Bingham established his credibility and the NWPOA’s growing influence by taking on the County Commission’s new impact fees. Bingham did his research and the County Commission was forced to back down. Rather than face costly lawsuits they were likely to lose, the county decided to return hundreds of thousands of dollars in impact fees improperly assessed on local property owners.
The NWPOA website provides analysis of the Comprehensive Plan and the ULUC, as well as links to official documents and maps. The NWPOA has issued a four-page “Position Paper on the Kootenai County Proposed ULUC” that lists 17 points concerning the ULUC Draft and the process that produced it.
The NWPOA “Position Paper” notes, for instance, that: “Rural property owners were not individually notified by USPS direct mail of the Comprehensive Plan revision process, nor the ULUC formation process until the draft was complete.” The paper also states:
One of the most offensive observations in the creation of the ULUC draft was the BOCC’s [Board of County Commissioners] purposeful appointment of dogmatic environmental individuals to lead and formulate the content of the proposed ULUC…. The BOCC authorized the continued decision making involvement of a self described environmentalist activist on the ULUC Technical Committee for the 9 months he was actually a California resident, shaping his vision for Kootenai County at the expense of local property owners.
The Position Paper states further:
The current ULUC draft is basically double the size of our current ordinances. Neither has it escaped our attention that at the same time the Kendig Keast consultant is formulating our ULUC, it has been formulating a similar code for a city (McAllen, TX). Yet the McAllen ULUC draft is just 300 pages, or apx. 40% smaller than our rural ULUC draft. It is the judgment of nearly everyone that a rural code would and should naturally be much smaller than a city code simply from the fact that rural property owners have less close-quarter concerns that may need to be addressed…. Rural property owners do not feel the need for such a large and complicated code.