CAO spells trouble for landowners near water


In response to the July 26 letter to the editor by Linda Orgel, “Critics should have come to meetings,” she started her letter saying, “There have been a few letters of late criticizing the recent county commission vote for the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO).

My July 25 letter must have been the last straw for her, or it was just a happenstance situation. She claimed that nothing was changed in an adverse way and I quote, “Forest lands will remain in forestry, mineral lands will be protected.” She goes on in the same paragraph to state, “Without these protections, required by law, we could look forward to acres and acres of housing developments, rather than forest and ag. lands.”

It is my understanding that the new rules only apply to waterfront properties and the last I knew these are the most valuable lands for development in any county in the United States. It is on these lands that the new (CAO) most heavily restrains private property owners.

She states in the middle of her letter that, “It does not prevent people from building single family homes.”

Now I take this statement that you can build a single family home in the 30-100 foot zone from the mean high water of the properties river front land.

I have read the CAO from cover to cover and can say irrevocably that no building is allowed that close to the water’s edge. I am a graduate forester and without a hydraulics degree can tell you that these CAO rules applying to the 30-100 zone is a taking of private property.

I think the lady needs to consult a land-use consultant before she goes blasting the critics of the new regulations. Since I, as a freelance land-use consultant would have to charge $100 per hour — I don’t think she is going to be giving me a call in the near future.

J.F. “Jack” Wiesberger

Aberdeen