Chamber – builders step up for property rights

December 1st, 2015 by Ken

Kudos and a pat on the back to the Thurston County Chamber and the Olympia Master Builders for looking out for the interests of local property owners.   Together with Hinkle Homes the organizations filed a lawsuit against Thurston County for its adoption of an interim permit process – without public input.

While the lawsuit will deal with legal issues – – the underlying problem is the Mazama Pocket Gopher and its listing as a threatened species by the federal government.   In dealing with the issue, the Thurston County Commissioners adopted rules set down by the US Fish and Wildlife service for property owners who had Mazama Pocket Gopher habitat on their property.

Those rules were adopted without any public input.

Even though the rules are very restrictive – – when they were adopted by the Commission – –  they said it was the best deal for property owners since it gave them a way to use their land even though it may have a threatened species on it.  Apparently builders and the chamber don’t think so.

The lawsuit was filed in Lewis County.

(An Aside)  Heather Burgess, a local attorney and the foremost expert on Mazama Pocket Gophers, has just been named as one of the best lawyers in America by the 2016 edition of”The Best Lawyers in America.”  Her arena is environmental law and environmental litigation.  She is currently the legal counsel for the Port of Olympia.


Posted in The Real News

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