CLALLAM: Signature drive starts on initiative to repeal land code

A Sequim auto dealer has launched an initiative drive to repeal the controversial Clallam County Critical Areas Code.

Bob Forde, owner of Sequim Auto Sales and chairman of the Committee to Repeal the Critical Areas Code, said the sweeping environmental legislation hurts property owners and impedes use of their land.

The initiative, filed last week with the county auditor's office, follows a personal appeal by Forde to county commissioners on Feb. 7.

Mandated under the state's 1990 Growth Management Act, the critical areas ordinance was crafted to counter urban sprawl and its effects on endangered fish and animals.

Forde and his organization have 90 days to collect the required 3,176 signatures from voters registered in the county, Election Coordinator Patty Rosand said.

The number of signatures required is equal to 10 percent of the votes cast in the county during the last gubernatorial election. Forde says he hopes to get 10,000 signatures.

Rosand said if the required numbers of valid signatures are obtained, the county commissioners could decide to repeal the ordinance.

Otherwise, Rosand said, commissioners could schedule public hearings and put a measure on the ballot, probably in November.

Forde and his group will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. in the Port Angeles City Council chambers to discuss the initiative.

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