Take Action – Husum/BZ Public Meeting

Here is a rezone map.

Download this letter and edit it as you like or download this pdf.  Written and verbal testimony will be accepted at the hearing on April 5th.  If you want your comment to be received by the Commission before the meeting, send it to the County by March 30.  Written testimony to the County can be mailed or faxed.

Mail to:  Klickitat County Board of Commissioners

c/o Klickitat County Planning Department

228 W. Main Street, MS-CH-17

Goldendale,  WA  98620

Fax to:  (509) 773-6206

[Your Name and Address]


Klickitat County Board of Commissioners

c/o Klickitat County Planning Department

228 W. Main Street, MS-CH-17

Goldendale,  WA  98620


Re:      Written Comments on Proposed Husum/BZ Sub-Area Plan

Dear Commissioners:

For the reasons stated below, we ask that you do not approve the proposed Husum/BZ Sub-Area Plan.

1.         The proposed plan does not adequately protect the White Salmon River, its tributaries and both existing and new wells from nitrate pollution.

2.         Nothing in the plan ensures that existing wells will not be depleted as the result of the proposed zoning densities.   We have seen no evidence that new residents can expect to receive a water supply from either the City of White Salmon or the Fordyce Water Association.

3.         The proposed densities are not necessary to accommodate reasonably foreseeable, non-speculative residential development in the White Salmon River valley.   Land owners in the planning area have great latitude to divide their lots if they need or choose to under existing zoning.

4.         No public benefit will result from converting some of the best agricultural and timber lands in the County to rural residential sprawl.  Please consider the needs of future generations for viable agricultural and timber lands.

5.         Development should be focused in the Rural Centers, where provision of public water and sewage disposal systems are economically viable.    Nothing in the plan either requires or encourages provision of such services.  In fact, the proposed lot sizes guarantee that development will occur by short plats without any requirements to provide the community services that would be required of long plats/subdivisions.

6.         Nothing in the plan addresses access to Highway 141.  Please include provisions addressing traffic flows onto and off of that highway.  Traffic management on the highway affects not only those who live in the planning area, but everyone who travels that road.

7.         Nothing in the plan contemplates public access to the White Salmon River.  We ask that you include provisions addressing the need for public access to that river.   Recreational uses of the river are vital to the economic health of and quality of life in our community.

8.         Nothing in the plan protects the wild and scenic qualities of the White Salmon River.  We ask that provisions requiring undisturbed buffers sufficient to preserve those qualities be included in any final plan.  Undisturbed buffers should not be less than 200 feet from the ordinary high water mark.  Such buffers would also help protect the river from pollution and avoid shifting the burden of habitat preservation from landowners in the planning area to other landowners in the watershed.

9.         Please do not rely on the County’s Critical Area Ordinance to protect either water resources or critical habitat unless the County intends to vigorously implement and enforce the protections theoretically established in that ordinance.  We are not convinced that the County has or will honor those protections.

10.       The rural sprawl contemplated in the plan does not serve the interests of the majority of residents.  Such sprawl will compromise not only the natural resources that historically have been the foundation of our economy, but also the rural values that make this such a wonderful place to live and rear our children.

11.       Please eliminate all provisions addressing the transfer of development rights and mitigation banking.  The County is not in a position to implement or properly administer such a complicated program, and the planning area is not of sufficient size to support the program.  The sole results will be added unpredictability with respect to how many homes may be built on any given parcel.

12.       Please wait until we know what changes in the watershed and water tables will result from removal of Condit Dam before committing the river corridor to residential development at the proposed densities.

Please bring this proposal back to our community for further discussion.

Thank you for considering the above.