I am happy to respond to these questions for CAPR. They have been an important organization protecting rights for rural land owners in the 45th District. — Brendan

….continued from a previous post

There is tension between government protection of the environment and ownership of private property. Will your votes reflect a reasonable balance? 

Yes. Let me point out that I believe private property incentives for the protection of or shared environmental resources (economic “environmental benefits”) is an important part of effective policy making. I believe in the use of market mechanisms, such as transfer of development rights (TDRs) and water markets to achieve a cleaner environment than we currently have.

Many environmental regulations restrict the use of private property and can adversely impact a family’s use and value of their property. Should the perceived public benefits of these restrictions be disproportionately borne by private landowners? 

No. However, l would like to point out that no private landowner has a right to pollute his neighbors, or his community (the commons). You cannot just discharge effluent or silt into a public waterway, or cut your forest and send a cascade of silt and gravel down hill because you cleared you land. Private property means that a landowner is responsible for what happens on their land, as well as off.

Many wetland delineations are controversial and not based on valid science. Do you favor reviews that force these delineations to meet legal and peer reviewed scientific definitions before allowing restrictions?

Yes / No We should be incentivizing people for creating and protecting critical habitat on their land, not harassing them. I do not know exactly what your understanding of the scientific and peer reviewed definitions are, but I will say that I am against using environmental definitions and delineations as a tool to manipulate and control people in general.  That is dishonest politics.

The result of this command and control policy making where unaccountable regulators rule is that people and the regulations have an adversarial relationship—there is an incentive to secretly eliminate any chance of the things those regulations supposedly are meant to protect such as wetlands or endangered species. We need to change that attitude by addressing the misaligned structures here.

8. The Growth Management Act (GMA) was meant to have 13 equal and balancing goals. However, environmental concerns often get disproportionate attention to the neglect of goals like protecting private property, economic development, reasonable permitting, etc. Will you help restore the intended balance?

The reason for this imbalance seems to be that they are being treated as competing goals, rather than complementary goals. If by “Restore balance” you mean diminish one over others, no. But if by “restore balance” you mean seek solutions that will make these goals work better together, than yes.


This post a continuation from a previous post, Q&A with CAPR