Taxpayers shouldn’t foot bill for smaller setbacks

OlympiaJuly 18, 2013 

This letter is in regards to the city of Olympia’s Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) and how close property owners can build to the salt water in downtown Olympia. The attempts by a few private landowners on Budd Inlet, who want to build closer and higher to the saltwater, remodel closer to the saltwater, and use fill dirt closer to Budd Inlet are either ignoring the fact of sea level rise, or are expecting the taxpayers of Thurston County to build a sea wall for them.

Climate change-induced sea-level rise will inundate those buildings. The city, county, state or the USA should in no way be liable in any way for such foolish ideas. Those owners should not be allowed to pass those liabilities on to any future purchasers.

The property deed should show the dangers of sea-level rise. This is similar to buried fuel tanks that are tagged for future owners; the dangers are seen up front. Increased setbacks to Budd Inlet are saving the owners from their own foolishness. The SMP should keep the 150- to 200-foot setbacks from the high-tide line.

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