Local View: Anti-growth interests obstruct new jobs, affordable housing

In Hirst Decision, News by Ashley Butenschoen

A word from Senator Doug Ericksen:

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Whatcom County decision shows need for household-well legislation

This week Whatcom County announced a 6-month moratorium on new wells, stopping new construction in rural areas. This ought to show everyone that last year’s Hirst decision by the state Supreme Court has created a crisis the Legislature must address. The ruling imposes costly and likely impossible requirements on those who seek to drill new wells. It already is creating major problems for rural landowners and local governments.

This issue a major piece of unfinished business for the Legislature. I am a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 5239, which overturns this misguided decision. But House Democratic leaders so far have refused to permit a vote.

This week, Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, tied everything together with an op-ed in The Columbian titled, “Anti-growth interests obstruct new jobs, affordable housingShe writes:

Wells only account for less than 1 percent of water consumption in the state, but placing unreasonable limits on them hits families particularly hard in rural areas where it’s not possible to hook up to municipal water systems. Now, people planning to build homes or businesses on their property are facing financial ruin because they can’t use the water on their own land. This only makes it harder to expand. Indeed, as Clark County council Chair Marc Boldt recently concluded, ‘This isn’t about water at all. This is about growth.’

… To keep creating anti-growth roadblocks that shut down the building of affordable homes and growing businesses is to put our heads in the sand.

You can follow the progress of our household-well legislation on my website here.

Full article, click here