Prepare, Sustain, Thrive and Survive Simply

Are You Trying to Survive in a Growth Management County?

I saw an article that Kootenai County, Idaho (Coeur d’Alene) is facing a drastic expansion of its land use code and the rural people are up in arms. It reminds me of all the controversy around the Growth Management Act in neighboring Washington state, which was enacted there in 90s, and all the problems it caused.

If you live in a GM county, or are thinking of relocating, check on the GM status. You might not be able to do what you’d like on your land, and may find yourself swept up in a divisive community drama, like this one in Caliornia’s Antelope Valley:

This article in the New American tells what happened last month (June 2013) at the public input meeting in Coeur d’Alene, and it talks about some of the same stuff I do below, about why people start talking about Agenda 21 at these meetings. Sorry, this is very long, so you may have to get a snack and take a nap somewhere in the middle of it.

Property Owners Outraged

“Much of the concern and outrage expressed at the commission meeting by property owners stems from the fact that the new “comprehensive plan,” the ULUC, is more than double the page count of the existing code, and, as might be expected from that expansion, contains many more regulations, prohibitions, restrictions, mitigations, impact fees, permit requirements, and much more.” The New American, 21 June 2013

What’s Wrong With Growth Management?

There is nothing wrong with planning how to use land or managing for growth. The reason people are upset is because of the invasive complexity of the proposed code. The first tenet of comprehensive planning in Idaho is the protection of private property. Plans that reach into every area of your life with regulations, prohibitions, restrictions, mitigations, and impact fees are rejected by liberty loving people, especially those who live out in the country. When your way of life is attacked, it’s a threat and people naturally wonder where it’s coming from.

“The Idaho Legislature passed the Local Planning Act in 1975, providing a statutory framework for local planning and land use regulation while ensuring that these important decisions would remain in the hands of city and county officials”. See how they keep using that world “local,” as if it’s important to people of Idaho? “In 1995, the act was renamed the Local Land Use Planning Act, a more appropriate moniker since the act covers many aspects of local growth management…”

Huh? Growth management? What’s that? While traditional land use planning has its roots in the turn of the 20th century, growth management, also known as Smart Growth, sprang onto the American scene during the Clinton years , as you will see if you read on.

What can be wrong with such an innocuous sounding thing like growth management? Simply put, this particular method of management opens the floodgates for battalions of bureaucrats to control what you do on your property. A lot of rural people consider privacy on the their property next to sacred. Once the legions are in place, they justify their existence and protect their paychecks by charging you to jump through hoops until hell freezes over. Government always wants more control over the citizens, and more of our money, all in the guise of some service it is performing in our behalf.

The reasons given for why growth management “livability codes” are needed, make sense. The goals are to mitigate negative impacts of people swarming into an area, to ensure quality of life, that we don’t choke ourselves with pollution in our zeal to make life more convenient, to keep rural areas rural and farmers farming, and that resources are managed to maintain customary levels of service such as fresh water, sanitation, and transportation. All things I agree with. I think reasonable people want those things, right? But the smart growth model is not only a manipulative top down way of going about it — it’s also suspected of being saturated with globalist UN ideology that many Americans don’t align with.

Nutty UN Conspiracy Theories?

A blog post by the Kootenai Environmental Alliance last year brushed the UN stuff off with the typical response:

“Ignoring the completely nutty UN Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists, the ULUC opposition appears to be based primarily in a ‘property rights’ viewpoint that ignores both the law and the policy choices that guide modern land use across the country.”

In an attempt to combat ignore-ance, I’m going to show exactly how modern land use principles that guide the country are rooted in that nutty Agenda 21.

Just as important is this little fact: 20 years after the GMA was adopted in Washington state — and screwed with property owners lives, goals, and fortunes — people are saying it doesn’t even accomplish what it supposedly set out to do. There are cites and links to some articles about that below.

If you’ve spent any time on this blog you will probably notice that I am not your mainstream right-wing conservative American consumer. Unlike some Tea Party Conservatives, I like bicycle lanes and believe that human industrial activity impacts the environment, but I don’t choose to live in a high-rise in a big city. Been there done that. I consider the status quo rather unimaginative and have no particular agenda of preserving it. I do believe in the Constitution, however, and the personal liberty it purports to protect.

Living Simply on the Land is My Choice

I want to be able to live productively and peacefully on a piece of land with people of my choosing and utilize the natural resources of earth to survive at a usage and pollution rate at less than half that of the average American — kind of like people did a few short generations ago. I don’t expect everybody to want that, but I do wish people that love liberty would protect my right to do so. I know it can be done safely and sanely, so I should be free to steward the property and my life in a responsible manner according to my strength and abilities. But it takes freedom, good old USA style liberty to live like that, and under current UN-influenced zoning rules, I don’t have that freedom, despite the fact that the outcome fits perfectly with the UNs purported sustainability goals. Hmmm, I smell a rat — which is why I am interested enough to look into this a bit.

No matter what you are told, these comprehensive plans and codes are not about local people making local decisions to protect their desired quality of life. The planning process is handed over to urbanized consultants who are completely indoctrinated in UN ideology they learned in college and they produce a dog and pony show called “public participation” destined to result in preplanned results. If you’ve ever been through these things it becomes quite evident that they are the planners and we are the pawns. Chances are, your county officials are probably clueless about the origins of the Smart Growth model they will adopt and enforce after tweaking the code a little to quell the frustrated citizens. If you make an honest attempt to educate them, they will smirk first, then hang a radical right wing racist label on you and use it for carte blanche permission to ignore everything you say. That funding carrot dangling before their faces causes their ears to snap shut.

Land Management is Typically the Domain of the States and Counties

Land use laws have traditionally been regarded as the domain of the states. In turn, most of the 50 states have delegated responsibility for planning and regulating land use to counties, many of which regard the stewardship of the land as the centerpiece of their authority to govern. This is where the grassroots can actually chat with the people they voted for to protect their Constitutionally guaranteed liberties. When county planners and commissioners tell you their comprehensive planning springs from some local grassroots planning workshops, don’t just roll over. It is being shoved down our throats from on high and we can prove it, so stand your ground.

Sustainable Development – A Clear Case of Trickle Down Federalism

Law professor Patricia Salkin pointed out in 2002: “It is clear that Congress is continuing with a 2001 odyssey into a land use reform agenda. Existing staff in the executive agencies have been vested in the sustainable development and smart growth movements, so much so that it may be difficult to quickly change course.”

“State and local governments should be aware of the diverse federal interest in promoting smart growth, sustainable development, and livable communities,” Professor Salkin wrote in Smart Growth and Sustainable Development: Threads of a National Land Use Policy.

“…the fact remains that a national land use policy is being coordinated, funded, and advocated by various federal agencies, both houses in Congress, and the White House…and federal funds are being spent in seemingly record amounts to promote various aspects of the land use reform and smart growth agenda.”

Interestingly, Salkin is not an opponent of smart growth planning. She just thinks states and counties ought to take serious advantage of the public input that is supposedly a central feature of the process. To make her case that federal intervention in our lives is quite normal, she sites a host of federal laws and agency regulations that limit or preempt local government land use decision making, including Fair Housing Act amendments, Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and TEA-21.

“The federal government has taken on an increasing policy in the area of land use reform and in influencing state and local land use decisions through myriad regulations, funding programs, and other agency-level technical assistance programs. Traditionally viewed as a state government issue, governors of more than a dozen states have signed executive orders that address one or more aspects of land use reform or smart growth principles.”

Sustainable Development Got a Foothold Under Clinton, Gore & Bush

Salkin’s article notes the “continuing interest at the federal government level with respect to land use planning and smart growth issues,” but she does not question what spurred that “continuing interest.” She simply notes a “de facto national policy and agenda in the making in the nation’s capital for the last decade under the guise of sustainable development, since programs initiated by Clinton and Gore were carried into the Bush administration, and combined with many significant presidential appointments and announcements to set the stage for an increase in federal involvement in state and local land use decision making.”

Bush the Federalist

No matter what he said, President Bush wanted more federal control across the board, of which top down land planning was just a small part. His Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies directed at least 21 agency heads and executive officials to form the Interagency Working Group on Federalism. This group was to find ways for the federal government to wheedle its way into state and local affairs with “flexible funding streams, regulatory waivers, and other opportunities that increase state and local flexibility, innovation, and accountability; measures for improving federal responsiveness to state and local concerns; and enforcement of rules, orders, and procedures that advance federalism” all with the end goal of drafting a new executive order on federalism.

Clinton the Environmentalist

The Clinton Gore administration was more specifically focused on federal environmental policy and engaged numerous agencies, academics, and non-profits in a seven year Growing Smart project, which culminated in the Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook: Model Statutes for Planning and the Management of Change. The Guidebook and accompanying user manual promote the sustainable smart growth model of planning and zoning legislation. (See “’Smart Growth’ Plan’s Perils” article below about how Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio Republican, was so concerned about this initiative that his House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution held an oversight hearing on the guidebook and its potential impact on property rights).

U.S. HUD (the lead agency), EPA, US Dept of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, FEMA, Rural Economic and Community Development Administration of the US Dept of Agriculture, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Siemens Corporation, and American Planning Association members provided funds for the APA to work on the project. You will find the APAs name surfaces often on the smart growth scene.

APA worked on the Growing Smart guidelines in tandem with a directorate of elected and agency representatives from the Council of Governors’ Policy ‘Advisors, Council of State Community Development Agencies, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Regional Councils, The National Association of Counties, the National Association of Towns and Townships, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The Clinton administration’s smart growth agenda also spread to the US Department of Commerce and its Office of Sustainable Development and Intergovernmental Affairs. This office was ostensibly created to further sustainable development solutions for NOAA. It wanted to bring “new constituencies and new perspectives to the task of integrating social, economic, and environmental activities to build stronger communities and a stronger society by working closely with the Joint Center for Sustainable Communities, which was a collaboration of the National Association of Counties and the United States Conference of Mayors.”

The EPA jumped on Clinton’s sustainable growth bandwagon in a big way. They partnered with the International City-County Managers’ Association (ICMA) and the Urban Land Institute to Fund and Support the Smart Growth Network, and they launched the Green Communities initiative.

International City-County Managers’ Association (ICMA)

ICMA is a professional and educational organization that “represents appointed managers and administrators in local government throughout the world.” It sponsors, develops and implements programs to further its aims, one of which is sustainable development.  ICMA and the Smart Growth Network offer two popular smart growth “primers” (Getting to Smart Growth), that each describe concrete techniques of putting the ten smart growth principles into practice, including boilerplates of 200 policies jurisdictions can implement.

EPA Offers ICMAs Primer for Smart Growth

“The policies and guidelines presented in this primer have proven successful in communities across the United States, and range from formal legislative or regulatory efforts to informal approaches, plans, and programs” in an easy-to-read format with photos that illustrate smart growth elements, according to the EPA. You can download them at EPAs website

To better understand how these global ideologies — so many of which are at odds with American principles — creep into the federal government, read this very informative blog post of Nov. 1, 2010, called, The History of Sustainable Development. I’m not sure what this critical piece is doing on the ICMA site but it helps connect the dots of how the UN globalist agenda came to be inserted into federal policy — even when the US did not sign onto UN sustainable development treaties — and how the agenda trickles down from on high to permeate policies at the county level and ruin the lives of individual property owners in rural America.

The concept of sustainable development can be traced back three decades before the term was actually coined. In the 60s, delegates from colonized Third and Fourth World nations began calling for cessation of exploitation by developed nations, like being relocated and having their jungles bulldozed. They wanted a better life for their people and turned to the UN out of desperation. An ideology began to emerge that mixed strategic redistribution of wealth, guarantees of access to land, and environmental protection.

Time for a New Economic Order

In 1974 the United Nations Declaration for the Establishment of a ‘New International Economic Order” clearly showed that the delegates to the U.N. General Assembly accepted the idea that governments should control the economy and that equity was the primary objective. The document was largely ignored by the developed nations, however delegates continued to promote the same ideas during subsequent U.N. conferences. For example, here is an excerpt from the Preamble to the 1976 U.N. conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I).

“Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market.  Private land ownership is also the principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, and therefore, contributes to social injustice…”

The document is mostly concerned with quality of life for people living in squalor in the poor nations of the world. It asserts nations’ sovereign right to make their own decisions, but the 65 pages of how to improve conditions tend to contain ideas antithetical to the American way of thinking. They include:

• A-1. Redistribute population in accord with resources.
• D-1. Government must control the use of land to achieve equitable distribution of resources.
• D-2. Control land use through zoning & land-use planning.
• D-3. Excessive profits from land use must be recaptured by government.
• D-4. Public ownership of land should be used to exercise urban and rural land reform.
• D-5. Owner rights should be separated from development rights, which should be held by a public authority.

It is not in the UNs mandate to enforce its ideas with the gun. Instead, they say that: “Every state has the sovereign and inalienable right to choose its economic system, as well as its political, social and cultural system, in accordance with the will of its people, without interference, coercion or external threat of any kind. And, every state has the right to exercise full and permanent sovereignty over its wealth, natural resources and economic activities…” It should add — unless you’re an American — because all those things are going down the tubes in this country due to our government enacting the UN agenda through rule making. For one, thing, the sustainable development model is not something citizens are understanding and voting for. They often don’t even realize it’s happening because it slips into their lives surreptitiously through ingeniously persuasive tactics like advice, technical assistance, and funding, combined with “public participation” opportunities that promote the UN agenda at their expense.

Among the signers of Habitat I for the United States were Carla Hills, Secretary of HUD and William Reilly, Conservation Foundation and later the Administrator for the EPA. Also in attendance were:

• Nine agencies of the federal government
• Sierra Club
• National Audubon Society
• Friends of the Earth
• Conservation Foundation
• League of Women Voters

Sustainable Development the Key to Solving World Inequality

The term “sustainable development” was first coined by the Brundtland Commission, formally known as the UN World Commission on Environment & Development, established in 1983 by the UN General Assembly. The Commission was an independent body, linked to, but outside the control of governments and the UN system. It was chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Vice-Chair of the World Socialist Party. The group worked for 900 days then dissolved after producing: Our Common Future: From One Earth to One World. The report lists a number of global problems and defines sustainable development to be the solution: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Whether or not you agree that the above problems exist, the question remains if worldwide comprehensive land planning policies are the preferred way to deal with them.

Agenda 21 is Born

The United Nations General Assembly asked the Brundtland Commission, to “…propose long term strategies for achieving sustainable development by the year 2000 and beyond…” A plan to implement the Brundland Commission’s strategies was revealed at the 1992 Conference on Environment & Development chaired by Maurice Strong who was also a member of the Brundtland Commission. The plan was called Agenda 21.

Agenda 21 calls for the creation of:  “…National strategies, plans, policies, and processes which are crucial in achieving a sustainable world.” Each chapter presents many policy recommendations that member nations are expected to adopt and it addresses virtually every aspect of life.

To see how EPA, ICMA and Agenda 21 dovetail, go to and type Agenda 21 into the search box.

Some of the more important chapters are: (5) Demographics & Sustainability, (9) Human Settlements — the foundation for sustainable communities, (10) Planning & Management of Land, (18) Management of Water, and (38) International Mechanisms & Institutions (as the coordinators of worldwide sustainable development).

Why are ideas encompassed in U.N. declarations emerging as public policy in the  US?

The Biodiversity Treaty, Agenda 21, was not adopted by the US Senate but six months after his inauguration, President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order #12852, which created the President’s Council On Sustainable Development. The Council’s Membership included:

• Twelve Cabinet-level Federal Officials
• Jonathan Lash, Pres. World Resources Institute
• John Adams, Ex. Dir. National Resources Defense Council
• Dianne Dillon-Ridgley, Pres. Zero Population
• Michelle Perrault, International V.P., Sierra Club
• John C. Sawhill, Pres. The Nature Conservancy
• Jay D. Hair, Pres. World Conservation Union (IUCN)
• Kenneth L. Lay, CEO, Enron Corporation
• William D. Ruckelshaus, Chm., Browning-Ferris Industries & former EPA Administrator

Don’t Bother to Call for a Vote – Just Make More Rules

Their purpose was to translate the recommendations set forth in Agenda 21 into public policy administered by the federal government. They created the American version of Agenda 21 called “Sustainable America – A New Consensus”, It contained more than 150 policy recommendations taken directly from Agenda 21. At the eleventh meeting of the council, after the recommendations had been developed, then Secretary of the Dept. Of Commerce, Ron Brown, said that his agency could implement 67 percent of the recommendations administratively using only rule-making authority. Other department secretaries reported similar numbers. The recommendations covered a wide range of public policies, land use policies being among the most important.

The 1990’s saw an expansion of government land ownership. By 1997, the federal government owned about 1/3 of all the land in America. State and local governments owned another 10%. The federal government designated and expanded 21 National Monuments, designated 43 million acres of roadless areas, and appropriated millions in grants to states and local governments and land trusts for the purpose of acquiring more private property. These activities were promoted by land management agencies that were members of the President’s Council On Sustainable Development (PCSD).

Millions in grants were awarded to the American Planning Association between 1997 and 2000. The EPA and other agencies issued millions more in challenge grants to local governments and organizations for “visioning” projects.

A Visioning Project for Your Town

During the 1990’s there emerged a rash of visioning projects in towns and cities across the nation. They were typically called something like “Yourtown 2020” and funded by members of the PCSD.

The EPA, for example, would issue challenge grants for visioning projects to non-government organizations and local governments. The grant recipient would designate an initiator who would select the visioning council. Those selected would be carefully vetted representatives from various stakeholder groups such as environment, business, education, agriculture, and government, all known to support the PCSD vision.

The visioning process consisted of a series of meetings in which a trained facilitator led the group of stakeholders to suggest goals for the community to create the best possible future. These suggestions were typically written somewhere for everyone to see then organized into categories. Once the goals were identified and organized, the next step was to develop consensus, or the absence of expressed opposition. In reality, the facilitator neutralized objections rather than addressed them. Questions were never satisfactorily answered and objections were not included in the record, but dismissed, ignored, or discredited.

Ironically, most of the people involved with the process had never heard of Agenda 21 or Sustainable America, but every recommendation in the final land use development plan and its implementation can be traced back to the recommendations in Agenda 21 and Sustainable America.

The Smart Growth Vision Across America

To spread this process across the country, the EPA coordinated a Smart Growth Network consisting of dozens of non-government organizations which included:

• American Planning Association
• The Conservation Fund
• The Natural Resources Defense Council
• The Sierra Club

In each of the communities where visioning councils were established, their starting proposal was the recommendations of the PCSD. Their objective was to:

• Present PCSD recommendations as local goals for the community
• Through the consensus process, remove any objections that might arise
• Develop specific recommendations to achieve goals

The result became the “Yourtown 2020 Plan of Action”. The process typically took 12 – 18 months during which the local initiator issued press releases to involve local media in introducing the idea of building a sustainable community and publicizing the public involvement.

There was always the promise of funding to help with planning and implementation. The idea being to build so much public support for the sustainable community as defined by the “Yourtown 2020 Plan of Action”, that elected officials would look bad rejecting it.

Strange but true, the American Planning Association asserts it has no connection to the UN Agenda 21. According to The direct link between Agenda 21 and local planners by Tom DeWeese, the APA issued a myths and legends document on Agenda 21 on its website that goes to extreme measures to distance itself and its policies from Agenda 21, specifically saying “The American Planning Association has no affiliation regarding any policy goals and recommendations of the UN.” Which, considering everything documented above, is a bold-faced lie.

Additionally, DeWeese points to an APA newsletter sent to members in the San Francisco area in 1994. It includes a commentary entitled “How Sustainable is Our Planning?” by Robert Odland. The fifth paragraph says, “Vice President Gore’s book, Earth in the Balance addressed many of the general issues of sustainability. Within the past year, and the President’s Council on Sustainable Development has been organized to develop recommendations for incorporating sustainability into the federal government. Also, various groups have been formed to implement Agenda 21, a comprehensive blueprint for sustainable development that was adopted at the recent UNCED conference in Rio de Janeiro (the ‘Earth Summit.’)”

Plan to Eliminate Wealth and Power Not Working

A visit to the, of which the APA is a member, reveals its Statement of Principles and this quote: “We believe planning should be a tool for allocating resources…and eliminating the great inequalities of wealth and power in our society … because the free market has proven incapable of doing this.” Middle class money is moving out of the US, but the wealthy and powerful are digging in their heels and amassing a greater concentration of wealth for themselves. They can have it. I just want to go live a simple life in the woods, but the globalists don’t like that either. They want complete control of everybody.

How Freedom Strangling Rules Got a Foothold in Free America

Here is some smart growth history by two attorney’s that shepherded the Growth Management Act through the Washington State legislature in the early 90s. The Growth Management Revolution in Washington: Past, Present, and Future, was written in 1993 by Richard L. Settle and Charles G. Gavigan. It sheds some light on how such freedom strangling rules gain a foothold.

Before Settle and Gavigan did their Growth Management promotion, the Washington legislature had nearly adopted a uniform and comprehensive state supervised land use law in the early 70s, concurrent with the Model Land Development Code being pushed forward by lawyers from the American Law Institute. It is interesting to note, that as the code was being promoted by ALI, Congress was on the verge of enacting The Federal Land Use Policy and Planning Assistance Act. (S. 268, 93rd Cong., 1st Sess, (1973)), which contained large subsidies for states that would adopt these uniform development codes. This bill was first introduced in 1970 by Senator Henry M. Jackson, the quintessential “Cold War liberal.”

Jackson became chair of the Senate’s Committee on the Interior and Insular Affairs in 1963, and he was behind much of the significant environmental legislation of the 1960s, such as The Wilderness Act of 1964 and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The National Environmental Policy Act

NEPAs stated mission was to promote an organized, systematic approach to land use and conservation:  “(I)t is the continuing policy of the Federal Government, in cooperation with State and local governments…to use all practicable means and measures…to create and  maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans.”

Here are some objectives Congress intended NEPA to pursue: Assuring productive and pleasing surroundings, attaining beneficial use of the environment without degradation, preserving historic and cultural aspects of the environment, and balancing population and resource use. Once again, sounds like good goals, right? You will see these types of concerns in the GMA and other modern land use codes, and in the National Land Use Planning Act, which failed to pass the House of Representatives and did not become law. Together, these two laws would have organized numerous public land use regulatory and finance “components” (funding carrots) into a “system” — a federal system that would trickle down into the states.

The National Land Use Planning Act

Senator Jackson wanted laws that forced all responsible parties to consider the impacts of actions on the physical environment before acting. He proposed the National Land Use Planning Act — a uniform code designed to fix cross-jurisdictional conflicts and confusion concerning critical economic and environmental programs at the national, state and local level.

Trying to Fix Confusion Among the Bureaucrats

One of the many examples of inefficiency Jackson cited involved three agencies of the federal government working at cross-purposes in the Florida Everglades. One of them was preserving the area as a park, the other altering the landscape for flood control, the third funding airport construction. One of these was responding to the request of a local government in Florida, the other a county, and the third the state. None knew what the others were planning or doing. This type of regulatory dysfunction is not new to rural landowners, who often find themselves the brunt of it. But are uniform building codes and growth management ideologies from the UN the only solution?

There Was $100 Million for Smart Growth Planning Waiting in the Wings

NLUPA was defeated in the House of Representatives twice, but it would have provided states with $100 million in direct grants annually for preparing state land use plans based on local input and public participation. It also sought to establish a single land planning agency on the federal level, and a national planning data center for use by states and local governments. The UN also calls promotes uniform land planning with local participation and widespread land data collection. The Federal plan was to designate areas for growth and areas for conservation. Federal resources would, in turn, have been directed to encourage growth and conservation, in accordance with the states’ plans. The national planning system was narrowly rejected but the idea didn’t die.

In 1972, the federal government took another stab at land use control with the Coastal Zone Management Act, which was our nations first major federal land use model. It cleverly promoted the voluntary “local” approach (with guidance and incentives from above) to comprehensive management of common coastal areas.

Same Game, More Palatable Semantics

“For lawyers, the critical challenge is to define and advocate a new jurisprudence of resource use and regulation. The relatively new term “sustainable development” provides, conceptually, this type of integration and a basis for the reform of our legal systems.  The U.S. has a historical legacy, provided by Senator Jackson, that can be revisited and revised as we seek mutually beneficial ways to develop more efficient systems for resource use and conservation. As Senator Jackson wrote in 1971, ‘Resolving these problems for human ends – to improve the quality of our life – is, in major respects, the most challenging task facing the legal profession in the last one-third of the century,’” according to Settle and Gavigan.

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)

ICLEI was founded in 1990 when more than 200 local governments from 43 countries convened at the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, at the United Nations in New York. The association, which changed its name to ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability in 2003, serves as an “international association of local governments and national and regional local government organizations that are committed to sustainable development.” ICLEI provides technical consulting, training, and information services to support local governments in the implementation of sustainable development at the local level.

The organization promotes the following programs for local-level adoption and implementation as described on their website.

  • the Rio Conventions:
    • The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,
    • The UN Convention on Biological Diversity,
    • The UN Convention to Combat Desertification
  • Agenda 21
    • the Habitat Agenda
    • the Millennium Development Goals
    • the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation

So, as you can see from the ICLEI website, despite the claims of detractors that Agenda 21 is a useless document of no consequence, 450 member cities and counties in 46 American states are spending our tax dollars to be members and actively implement Agenda 21 on the local level with the help of this association.

Activities Around Water and Wetlands Become Highly Regulated

Soon after GMA passed in Washington, environmental agencies got involved. Activities around water and wetlands became highly regulated, creating much frustration, discontent, and expense for landowners.

The 1995 Washington State Legislature passed Engrossed Senate Bill 5776, which directed the Department of Ecology to “adopt A Manual for the Delineation of Wetlands… This state manual is required to be used by all state agencies in the application of any state laws and regulations as well as by any city or county in the implementation of any regulations under the Growth Management Act.”

Growth Management Doesn’t Seem to be Working

Passage of GMA in Washington opened a Pandora’s Box of legal land use issues for the counties that adopted it.  After a decade, people were in the position to assess whether this draconian law was actually doing what it was supposed to, so the legislature allocated $100,000 for a report. A major goal of GMA is preserving “Resource Lands and Critical Areas” (which mostly impacts rural people who are near the resources and critical areas). The report says “More time is required to learn the results of these studies and pilot programs before they are ready for evaluation and review for effectiveness.”

The result? Counties trying to opt out of GMA

Here is a story from Feb. 2013.

“Washington state lawmakers on Friday grappled with the question of whether the counties with little history — or prospect — of growth should be held to the same standards as their larger brethren under the state’s Growth Management Act.

“Enacted in 1990 and 1991, the GMA is the comprehensive land-use planning framework for city and county governments in Washington state. The law establishes numerous requirements for local governments, including:

• adopting a countywide planning policy;
• adopting ordinances to protect areas designated as critical environmental areas;
• designating urban growth areas and directing future growth into those areas; and,
• adopting a comprehensive plan and regulations to implement that plan within four years.

“Under the terms of House Bill 1224, which had a hearing in the House Local Government Committee, counties with a population of fewer than 20,000 residents would still be required to adopt a Critical Areas Ordinance, but could choose to opt out of the GMA’s more onerous requirements.

“In all, the bill would affect only four Washington counties — Ferry, Pend Oreille, Garfield and Columbia.

“ ‘We’re talking about the smallest of the smallest,’ said Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda), the measure’s prime sponsor. ‘If every single one of these counties opted in, it would affect less than 26,000 people.’ “

“ ‘The GMA was passed in the 1990s to regulate urban sprawl and do some other good things,’ he said. ‘But we’re not experiencing urban sprawl in Ferry County. For us, the law has been much more of a burden than a help.’

“ ‘We recognize we still have to do a certain amount of planning,” Ferry County Commissioner Brad Miller told the lawmakers, ‘but we’re looking for a little common sense here. The population in Ferry County is exactly what it was 100 years ago. We’re still trying to recover from a population loss in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Growth isn’t exactly a major issue for us.’

“ ‘We have a population of 13,001 — and one stoplight that we share with Idaho,’ agreed Pend Oreille County Commissioner Karen Skoog. ‘We already have an abundance of plans, but what we don’t have is development. And what development we have, we’d like to keep in our county rather than driving it across the border into Idaho with more needless regulations.’

“ ‘The Growth Management Act was passed because Washington residents refused to trade off their environmental legacy in favor of economic expediency,’ countered April Putney, representing the environmental activist group Futurewise. ‘That’s something Washingtonians still agree with.’

“ ‘Is the goal of the GMA to plan growth or to stop it altogether?’ asked Rep. Vincent Buys (R-Lynden). ‘Why do we need a whole slate of regulations to manage growth in counties that aren’t seeing any growth and don’t anticipate any?’

“ ‘There is growth happening,’ Putney answered. ‘There may not be as much as in other counties, but there is growth.’

“Two members of the Freedom Foundation, an Olympia-based free-market, small government think tank, testified that the bill should not only be passed but expanded.

Unintended Consequence

“ ‘We’re in favor of the bill as written, but we’d also favor raising the threshold from 20,000,’ said Freedom Foundation Property Rights Director Glen Morgan. ‘In addition to the other problems with the bill, it creates the unintended consequence of giving the Growth Management Hearings Board more authority over local land-use decisions than the local government, which is far better equipped to decide for itself.’

“ ‘The regulatory burden the GMA places on small counties also shows up in larger counties,’ added Scott Roberts, director of the Freedom Foundation’s Citizen Action Network. ‘It creates a chilling effect on a county’s economy by driving away businesses. If anything, that’s an even bigger problem in larger counties because they have more businesses to start with.’

“Roberts urged Washington to think more like Florida, which recently replaced its Department of Planning with a Department of Economic Opportunity…The goal in that state is to encourage more development and bring in more jobs, not quash them with more regulations,’ he said. ‘Florida didn’t stop doing land-use planning. It just got the state out of the planning business and returned that responsibility to local governments, where it belongs.’”

“One commenter said ‘that the GMA artificially restricted the market supply of real estate and drove up prices — that was (and is) disastrous for Washington real estate. Read Theodore Eicher’s study.’

Here are Some Quotes from Dumb Growth by Attorney George Kresovich

“In Seattle, GMA-based growth regulations have added 45 percent — about $200,000 — to the cost of a median-priced home.”

“A task force of real estate experts appointed by the (King) county said that the fundamental assumptions of the plan were not consistent with the market forces that drove real estate development. University of Washington geography professor Richard Morril said that “the planning bureaucrats…have declared war on the single family home.”

“Our smart growth planners, blind to the consequences of their plans, certainly consider themselves to be winners. The members of the organized environmental community no doubt sleep peacefully, secure in the certainty that the costs they have imposed on the rest of us are for our own good.”

“The planners seem to think that human behavior was malleable…Planners used to be taught that if they built a ‘superior’ environment, it would create a ‘superior’ class of humans.”

“Our planners insist on making our lives more difficult as we obstinately refuse to live according to their vision. Will they stop? Not unless we stop them. As C.S. Lewis observed, ‘Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.’”

“Our planners work for us. They are supposed to make our lives better not worse.”

What Can Go Wrong When Managing Via Comprehensive Code?

For several years, Citizen Review Online, published links and summaries to problems with the Growth Management Act in Washington state. Here are a few examples:

Official Apologizes — Says it Tears His Heart That He Opted in to GMA

2/27/02 – Walla Walla – Property owners question rules on GMA

If Walla Walla County Commissioner Dave Carey could go back 12 years and change his vote, this week’s public hearings on proposed development regulations might never have happened.

The hearings held Monday and Tuesday to obtain comment on regulations intended to enforce comprehensive planning under the state Growth Management Act generated more questions than comment.

“I have to apologize to you for what I’ve done,” Carey said. “It just tears my heart’ when people come before the commission and are told they cannot manage their land as they see fit under the new laws,” he told six landowners who attended Tuesday’s session.

About 15 people Monday expressed confusion and dismay about how the proposed regulations would affect their property rights.

Carey in 1990 was one of the commissioners who voted 2-1 to participate in Growth Management Act planning. In exchange, the state paid the county $75,000 a year to conduct planning and enact guidelines.

Ten of the state’s 39 counties opted not to fully conduct planning under the act, according to the Office of Community Development.

Development regulations Walla Walla commissioners were considering this week would apply to a land use plan adopted in May. The plan outlines management objectives for development in all unincorporated parts of the county through 2021.

The regulations will replace interim rules commissioners adopted early last year.

“I just have a tough time figuring out why we have had this land for nine decades and can’t do what we want with it,” Dick Kelly, a Frog Hollow Road resident who wants to place a house on his land for a family member, told the commissioners.

He and others questioned the “clustering provisions” for houses in primary agriculture areas zoned for 40-acre minimum lot sizes.

The provisions allow up to three residences to be clustered together on small adjacent lots while one house is allowed on the remaining acreage.

Under previous regulations, houses had to be situated on 10-acre minimum parcels.

“On this clustering, what are you trying to avoid?” asked Tom Strycula, a Burbank resident.

“Under growth management, the aim is to protect agricultural lands,” said Connie Krueger, regional planning director.

Other questions involved how zoning changes will be accomplished under the new regulations and the county’s comprehensive plan.

Krueger said that with growth management there is now “much more bureaucracy” involved with zone changes. Commissioners are expected to vote on whether to enact the development regulations when they hold their regular meetings next week, said Commission Chairwoman Pam Ray.

It is uncertain whether commissioners will vote on the rules at their regular Monday or Tuesday meeting, she said.

Smart Growth’ Plan’s Perils

by F. Patricia Callahan

April 16, 2002 – Scant attention has been paid to legislation currently working its way through Congress that would institute a $250 million grant program to federalize no-growth (euphemistically called “smart growth”) regulations nationwide. The result would be devastating for small property investors, both urban and rural.

“The Community Character Act” – Senate Bill 975, House Bill 1433 – would require local governments to implement land management plans using model “smart growth” statutes provided in a 2,000-page “Legislative Guidebook” developed during the Clinton Administration by the American Planning Association, a no-growth trade organization, with almost $2 million in HUD grant money.

Despite giving lip service to the idea that land use planning is rightfully a state and local government function, the CCA undeniably represents a top-down approach to land use management. The legislation will use our tax dollars to create a multitude of jobs for APA members, who will be free to promote their no-growth agenda nationwide.
Rep. Steve Chabot, Ohio Republican, is so concerned about the CCA that his House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution recently held an oversight hearing on the guidebook “and its potential impact on property rights and small business, including minority-owned businesses.”

AMA’s Stuart Meck, the guidebook’s primary author, told the subcommittee that in 1994, when the project began, the AMA sent out memos to 150 groups. It would be interesting to see that list, since those who have the most at risk were completely shut out of the development process. Career environmental groups were consulted, but property rights associations didn’t even know about the guidebook until a few months ago. No black or other minority associations were consulted, according to Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, who told the House subcommittee that the CCA would be devastating for minority businesses.

On March 6, 2002, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, chaired by Sen. James Jeffords, Vermont Independent, also held a hearing on the CCA. “When AASPO heard about the hearing, we immediately called and requested to testify. We were totally rebuffed, and were told that the National Multi-Housing Council and several other trade associations had been invited to testify.”

Unfortunately, the National Multi-Housing Council supports the CCA, as does the National Association of Realtors. The only trade organization that testified in opposition is the National Association of Home Builders.

The only other person whom Mr. Jeffords allowed to speak against the CCA was David Sampson, the Commerce Department’s assistant secretary of economic development — the very agency that would administer the “smart growth” grants under the Senate bill.

Mr. Sampson said the Bush administration does not support the legislation, calling it “a centralized approach to land use planning.” Instead, he called for locally devised plans that are “market-based.” Although he gave several examples, it is questionable whether the good senators understand what “market-based” means.

All in all, the Senate hearing was like watching a horror movie. Seeing the issues threaded throughout, such as “pedestrian-oriented,” creating statutes to preserve “vistas and views,” and “affordable housing,” makes it quite clear that this is just the tip of the iceberg. This type of regulation invariably makes life so miserable for small property owners that they eventually give up. The result is abandoned buildings that give the city justification to come in and bulldoze the area, clearing the way for big developers to come in and put up high-density high-rises. Some would call this the “unintended consequence” of “smart growth.” Others believe this is exactly the intent.

Land use involves tough issues, fought out on the local level. It is an exercise in democracy which can at times become very contentious. The intervention of the federal government in land use matters, whether directly or through a funding mechanism, will allow ideologues to exercise undue influence in the process – and thereby disenfranchise local private property owners. The “Community Character Act” must be defeated in order to save the individual characters of our communities.

 F. Patricia Callahan, an attorney, is the founder and president of the American Association of Small Property Owners (AASPO).

Emergency moratorium causes uproar: Ability to plat to 10 acres won’t apply to potential Resource Lands

Statesman Examiner Stevens County, WA – 4/18/02 – A number of real estate developers were upset after Stevens County Commissioners attempted to pass an emergency moratorium on potential resource lands during a hearing last Monday, April 8. Because information was incomplete, the discussion was continued until Tuesday, April 16 at 3 p.m., just hours after the Statesman-Examiner went to press.

Commissioners were holding a public hearing on a proposed moratorium on the creation of parcels under 10 acres—a decision also delayed until April 16. That would be a partial fix for the 20-acre moratorium that was indirectly instituted when the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board declared the county’s platting titles out of compliance with the Growth Management Act, which the county opted into in 1993. Until the issue is resolved, the Board’s order of “invalidity” has effectively shut down all platting (the subdivision of lands) that resulted in lots under 20 acres until the issue is resolved. Lots over 20 acres are not subject to county oversight.

The county hasn’t yet completed mandatory elements of Growth Management, including their Critical Areas Ordinance (in the revision stage) and their Resource Lands designation. Once those have been designated, then the Comprehensive Plan is to be completed and development regulations for the lands that remain may be drafted. All of these items were to be completed by September, 1997.

Much of the reason that the platting titles were declared non-compliant was because neither Critical Areas nor Resource Lands had been set aside, leaving the potential for the development of lands that the GMA says should be reserved. Resource Lands are considered those with “long-term significance” to the commercial production of timber, agriculture and minerals.

The proposed moratorium commissioners viewed Tuesday sets aside potential agricultural lands according to soil types, potential forest lands according to soil type and land slope, and mineral lands according to designation on the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) “Surface Mineral Map.” Commissioners may choose to designate all or part of the lands in each classification—the proposal targets the entirety of agricultural classes and portions of the timber classes, though all may be included. The proposal would also restrict all mineral lands shown on the DNR map.

“Until we can get it out to the public, I think all of it will be under the 20-acre moratorium,” said County Commissioner Vickie Strong. “But we need to see what it involves. I don’t think it is as much as people think.”

The map illustrating the various land classifications was not yet available.

A maximum of one home per 20-acre parcel on potential resource lands is also proposed in the interim.

The choice to establish 20 acres as the minimum set-aside for potential Resource Lands is also up for grabs—20 acres may not be large enough to satisfy various petitioners or the Hearings Board. While Strong said that it was not being considered, minimum parcels as large as 80 to 160 acres were mentioned during the April 8 discussion, and were a primary cause of the uproar that followed the meeting. Those were simply examples of what other counties have done, she said.

Satisfy Board, petitioners

Real estate developers who attended the meeting said that commissioners told them they proposed the emergency moratorium on potential Resource Lands in part to satisfy the Hearings Board and the petitioners in the lawsuit. Petitioners in the suit include the Loon Lake Property Owners’ Association, Loon Lake Defense Fund, William and Janice Shawl, Larson Beach Neighbors and Jeanie Wagenman, who have been successful in their arguments that the county isn’t protecting lands while sorting out its Growth Management issues.

“One of the reasons we were doing that was that, if we do go down to a 10-acre moratorium, and if we don’t have Resource Lands designated on a map, (Resource Lands) could be destroyed during that time,” explained Strong.

The proposed 10-acre moratorium would not apply to the Loon Lake Watershed, Strong added. That, too, would remain at a 20-acre minimum.

The emergency moratorium is proposed to be in effect until the adoption of a compliant Critical Areas Ordinance “to assure the conservation of critical areas,” and a Resource Lands Ordinance “to assure the conservation of natural resource lands.”

Emergency moratoria may be imposed without a public hearing, so long as a public hearing is held within 60 days of its passage. The moratorium is not to be in effect for more than six months, although “one or more” renewals of the six-month period may be applied for.

“We’re not pushing anything through,” Strong said.

But no one can explain a caveat on one of two RCWs that allows the passage of an interim moratorium without public input. RCW 36.70.795 allows the maneuver outright, so long as the public is included in the process within the aforementioned time frame.

RCW 36.70A.390 says virtually the same thing. But an additional paragraph reads that “this section does not apply to the designation of critical areas, agricultural lands, forest lands, and mineral resource lands . . . prior to such actions being taken in a comprehensive plan . . . and implementing development regulations . . . if a public hearing is held on such proposed actions.”

“I have no idea,” admitted Lloyd Nickel, assistant prosecutor for the county, who helped draft the proposal at the commissioners’ request. “I have not understood that last paragraph ever since I first read it.”

Municipal Research Services Center lawyer Paul Sullivan said that “I haven’t ever given any thought to this. Even if I had done so, I’d have to tell you you’d have to ask your own attorney, or the county’s attorney.”

An emergency moratorium was deemed appropriate, according to Strong, because county planners worried that the normal hearings process would give developers with lands in the proposed areas time to rush the counter with requests for plats to10 acres—rendering moot their attempt to conserve the land until a Resource Lands Ordinance is finalized.

Local realtor Dave Sitler is no fan of the GMA in the first place, though he’s worked with the county on portions of it. He calls the moratorium on private lands a “land grab.”

“It’s the biggest land grab, property rights thievery in the history of Stevens County,” Sitler said. “It’s worse than anything I’ve ever seen. I can’t even believe they’re considering this. It’s flat-out stealing, stealing your property rights. That’s all it is. There’s no compensation for (your land).”

‘Just compensation’
Second Substitute House Bill 2697 was passed on March 14, 2002. The act relates to “incorporating effective economic development planning into growth management planning,” and states that “private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation having been made.”

Many believe that restricting the uses of private property for the public benefit is the same as public use.

Local realtor Kelly Davis has invested in many timberlands. He said that this proposal simply adds to the slew of federal laws that have removed, acre-by-acre, pieces of his lands from use.

“They’ve basically taken ownership of tracts of land beside a stream,” he said. “Now, they’re going to cut even deeper. The timber owners, more than anyone else, have borne the weight of protecting the public resource. Now, the county is basically stealing a portion of my net worth by placing me in a certain category—i.e. Resource—that inhibits my ability to sell my property.

“I’ve chosen to invest money at home, where I can see it, and that’s real estate,” he continued. “Now, I feel as though I would have been better off to have bought Enron stock, because at least I would have had the thrill of the chase, and deciding when to get in and when to get out.”

Colville Realtor Denise Rogers said that plenty of the county is already locked up, anyway.

“Growth Management’s goal is to preserve the rural character, and they don’t want people to hurry up and put parcels together, because it might hurt the rural character,” she said, “even though there’s 42 percent that can never be touched.

“The question is not ‘are we going to lose property rights through Growth Management?’” she continued. “The answer is yes, we are. It’s only when.”

Estimates on the amount of publicly-owned lands in Stevens County vary by a few percentage points. Local forestry consultant Maurice Williamson and DNR both cite 38 percent as the amount of Stevens County that’s owned by the public or by tribes, which are exempt from the regulations. According to DNR, 86 percent of Stevens County’s 1999 timber harvest was derived from private lands.

‘Want our part of the state stifled’

Davis is one of many who contends that the GMA is geared toward the west side of the state, which, at this point, he said, he’d “just love to see slip into the Pacific.

“Just because the people in Seattle live in a concrete and asphalt jungle, they want our part of the state stifled and everything to stay the same,” he said. “They’re reducing our ability to grow and prosper. Adverse terrain, wetlands, et cetera, already prevent a tremendous amount of private land from being developed.”

“We’re not a county that has a lot of density,” Rogers added. “Drive on (Hwy) 395, you’ve got four cars in front of you. Drive in Seattle, you’ve got 70 cars in front of you. You’re potentially taking away people’s retirement, and more rights that might help them supplement Social Security.”

Local realtors worry that property owners are losing income they were depending on to carry them through retirement.

“A lot of people here have not invested in IRAs and retirement accounts,” Rogers said. “A lot of these guys who have worked in the woods or have farmed, that’s their retirement: their land.”

“I am terribly embarrassed by it,” Davis said. “And what’s really sad is the people in this county who have invested in this county, who’ve paid their taxes, who’ve provided jobs, voted for school levies and have carried the burden in so many arenas by virtue of their taxes, are now going to be kicked squarely in the shorts.

“If people quit buying real estate because of this kind of thing,” he added, “we’re really in a lot of trouble.”

Strong urged citizens to remember that “this is one of the elements of Growth Management, and we have to come up with a Resource Lands.”

Even if the emergency moratorium is passed, she added, the county will “still have to take all of this out to the public.”

Despite the uproar, and the GMA directive to plan according to “local circumstances,” Sitler feels that the 20-acre moratorium won’t be enough to satisfy the Hearings Board. “The state’s not going to be happy with that,” Sitler said. “We already have 20 acres.”

The above article was linked to from Here is another article on the site.


By Michael S. Coffman, July 15, 2003,

For decades urban planners have adhered to the mantra that urban sprawl increases pollution and housing costs, more driving time to work and shopping, stress, and the escalating consumption of scarce farmland and open space. Urban planning to implement what Al Gore calls “smart growth” supposedly corrects these problems and creates more livable, inexpensive homes for all. Irrefutable evidence, however, shows that urban planning creates the very nightmares it is supposed to eliminate. In the process, it strips urbanites of one of their most fundamental civil liberties — property rights.

Land-use control has been a goal of socialists for many decades. Laurence Rockefeller’s 1972 publication of The Use of Land: A Citizen’s Policy Guide to Urban Growth was instrumental in attempting to enact land-use regulation in Congress several times in the early 1970s. Edited by William K. Reilly, who later served as EPA Administrator under George Bush senior, the report claimed that planning the wise use of land is the best tool to guide growth toward achieving economic equality (emphasis mine here and following paragraphs) and protecting environmental quality.

Following the failed attempt to employ the anti-property rights features of The Use of Land, the United Nations set the same agenda in the 1976 Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I) held in Vancouver. For instance, the Preamble of Agenda Item 10 of the Conference Report states: “The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable….”

Smart growth advocates seek to preserve land in a natural or agricultural state by encouraging individuals to live in denser communities that take up smaller tracts of land per housing unit. Such communities also encourage residents to rely more on walking or public transit than on cars for mobility, and they more closely mix retail and other commercial facilities with residential units to foster easy access to jobs and shopping.

Land-use control can often become an obsession to planners for obvious reasons. In order to plan and control growth in their enlightened way, government bureaucrats and planning advocates must control property rights. Private property rights and smart growth are therefore mutually exclusive.

Such policies do not permit Americans the freedom to live where they choose. They must live inside urban growth boundaries. Developers must provide open space around new development. Americans may not live in greenbelt areas around urban centers. They may not live in designated viewsheds of scenic highways, or in the buffer zone of a Heritage River or a designated stream.

Those advocating smart growth can become so obsessive they become irrational. For instance, on June18, 2001, the Sierra Club defined “efficient urban density” as a city containing 500 housing units to the acre. Put another way, 500 families would have to live on an acre of land which is 209 x 209 feet! This would require a 14-story apartment building if 36 very small 1,000 square foot units (with hallways) occupied each floor! Increasing the apartment size to 1500 square feet would require a 21-story building!

After being criticized that such densities were more than three times greater than the highest density tracts in Manhattan and more than double the most dense and squalid ward of Bombay, India, the Sierra Club quickly revised its definition of urban efficiency to 100 units per acre. Reaching even that goal, however, would require living arrangements that are 2.4 times as dense as all Manhattan, twice as dense as central Paris and ten times that of San Francisco according to the Heritage Foundation. The density of the average suburban area is 1-3 units per acre.

At least nineteen states have state growth-management laws or task forces to protect farmland and open space. Dozens of cities and counties have adopted urban growth boundaries to contain development and prevent the spread of urbanization to outlying and rural areas. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) partially funded a 2002 report called “Growing Smart Legislative Guidebook: Model Statutes for Planning and the Management of Change.” Congress is considering passing “The Community Character Act,” which proposes to fund state and local efforts to reform their land use planning process to conform more closely to smart growth policies.

The Legislative Guidebook calls for using federal funding as a carrot to mandate a more restrictive “integrated state-regional-local planning system that is both vertically and horizontally consistent.” Vertically and horizontally consistent, in turn, means total government control from the federal government to the local community across America. One size fits all. This dovetails with Section 4(c)(1)(D) of the Community Character Act which calls for funding and “coordination of Federal, State, regional, tribal, and local land use plans.”

Dr. Michael Coffman is president of Environmental Perspectives, Inc. and CEO of Sovereignty International Corporation in Bangor, Maine. and the book, The Birth of World Government.

Hats off to Governor Scott for repealing State Growth Management Act

Commentary by Rene’ Holaday, UN Researcher – October 19, 2011

Dear Editor,

I have the best news that I’ve heard in 5 years! The Trojan Horse has just been inserted into the UN fortress! Have you ever heard of Governor Rick Scott? You’re going to remember that name after you read this. The Florida Governor, Rick Scott, has just successfully repealed the statewide UN program of Growth Management! Can you believe it? His focus was to “create jobs, reduce taxes, and eliminate over 1,000 state rules and regulations that stifle business growth and job creation”. Hurray for Gov. Rick Scott!! EVERY Governor should be doing that right now!

According to “Florida Repeals Smart Growth Law”, a 10-07-11 article written by Wendell Cox, “Governor Rick Scott had urged repeal as a part of his program to create 700,000 new jobs in seven years in Florida.

Economic research in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States has associated slower economic growth with growth management programs.

The article goes on to describe how extensive economic research shows Growth Management causes higher housing costs, due to loss of competitive land supply. It also causes the development of real estate monopolies, allowing for housing bubbles. Growth Management greatly contributes to the loss of jobs, loss of small businesses and farms, and therefore the slowing of the economy. Of course, Growth Management also causes many other nasty problems for people through all of its outlandish and eco-extremist regulations that are all connected to things like the Critical Areas Ordinances(CAOs).

So, ICLEI (International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives), and/or Growth Management has now been repealed from nine cities and counties in the USA, and one whole state. Do you realize the historical significance of what is happening here? The fruition of these nasty regulations has been “in progress” now since 1945, but they are now being repealed as the UN attempts to hurry and tighten its noose before people can catch on to what is happening.

This heroic example, set by Gov. Rick Scott, is the beacon of light showing all of us the way, and providing us with a blueprint to follow in order to duplicate the same procedure in our state of WA. When I hear our elected officials cowering to these Sustainable Development CAOs instead of confronting and repealing them like they have in Florida, I just shake my head. A little “spine” in this area is all it takes to confront something that clearly has no right being in this country, and so far, the Clallam County Republican Party is the only area in WA showing any kind of spine right now.

Clearly, these foreign governance programs can be repealed- it is now a proven fact- and clearly these foreign programs are detrimental to our way of life, economy, food supply, private property rights, individual rights, our State and US Constitutions, and our children’s futures. When there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by repealing Growth Management, then it should have been done yesterday!

Let the light of this great news shine on us today because we have all been given a blueprint for repealing Growth Management at the state level. Think about it for a minute; we can either confront this foreign garbage and repeal it like Florida has, or we can continue to heed the UN threats of more rigorous regulations and lawsuits and cower like the dogs they think we are. Beyond that, take in the opportunity to observe what can be done when good people that truly want to help “the people” for a change, get put into office;

My hat’s off to the first great Governor in the USA to repeal the Growth Management Act!! Hurray!

US Cities, Counties begin to listen to citizens and withdraw from ICLEI

ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) is facilitating the Local Government input and preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg August 2002) with the support of the UN Summit Secretariat and in partnership with major international associations of local governments, including hundreds within the United States.

The ICLEI reveals the “think globally, act locally” scheme of “sustainable development. It says:

ICLEI is the international environmental agency for local governments. ICLEI’s mission is to build and serve a worldwide movement of local governments to achieve tangible improvements in global environmental and sustainable development conditions through cumulative local actions.

According to their website: “The organization’s name is ‘ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability’. In 2003, ICLEI’s Members voted to revise the organization’s mission, charter and name to better reflect the current challenges local governments are facing. The ‘International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives’ became ‘ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability’ with a broader mandate to address sustainability issues.”

Building a worldwide movement requires that ICLEI functions as a democratic, international association of local governments. Serving a worldwide movement requires that ICLEI operates as an international environmental agency for local governments.

More than 1,200 cities, towns, counties, and their associations from around the world are full Members of the Council, with hundreds of additional local governments participating in specific ICLEI campaigns and projects. As a movement, association, and agency, ICLEI continues to work towards its environmental and sustainable development goals.

As more information about this scheme reaches citizens across the United States, county commissioners are beginning to listen, and some are withdrawing from the organization, along with some cities.

Here are some more stories about the movement to sever the local relationship with the United Nations

3/24/2011 – Pennsylvania County Rejects Agenda 21 (ICLEI)

3/21/2011 – Edmond, Oklahoma Dumps Agenda 21 (ICLEI)

3/3/2011 – Maryland County Cancels Agenda 21 (ICLEI) Participation

American Freedom Watch Radio has a list of more than 30 counties and cities that had terminated membership in ICLEI as of 4/6/12.

Tea Party Criticism of Agenda 21

Some Tea Party and Conservative activist organizations have criticized ICLEI’s involvement and support of the U.N. Agenda 21 program.Such criticism argues “the UN sustainability agenda eventually seeks to curtail people’s choices in terms of food, transportation, housing — even family size, as in Communist China.”

UN Agenda 21 and ICLEI: Is “sustainable development” something the American people want?

Here’s what Maurice Strong, socialist, senior adviser to the Commission on Global Governance and driving force behind promoting the concept of “sustainability” said when introducing the term at the 1992 Rio Conference (Earth Summit II):

Industrialized countries [Americans] have “developed and benefited from the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption which have produced our present dilemma. It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption pattern of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning and suburban housing – are not sustainable. A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally damaging consumption patterns.” Despite statements in UN documents that value sovereignty, Strong also explains in an essay that the concept of sovereignty has to yield in favor of the “new imperatives of global environmental cooperative.”

Here is part of what Maurice Strong said to the US Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Foreign Relations, July 2002.

“I am pleased to say the United States has been deeply involved in the Earth Charter movement.  The distinguished, American Professor Steven Rockefeller, chaired the committee which drafted the Charter in cooperation with people of different faiths and beliefs throughout the world.  Some 500 organizations in the United States have joined with thousands around the world which have contributed to and/or endorsed the Earth Charter. These  include the Humane Society of the United States, the National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, the Orion Society, the Sierra Club, the World Resource Institute, the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the United States Conference of Mayors as well as dozens of individual cities and towns.”

Entire Statement of Maurice F. Strong, Chairman Earth Council Foundation at hearing of the United States Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works and the Committee on Foreign Relations, July 2002.

More Global Control to Come Via UN Programs

Predictably, the trend at the UN is to call for more global governance, specifically better coordination between WTO, Bretton Woods Institutions for finance and development, the G20 for global macroeconomic coordination, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the UN system for development and the environment, according to a Committee for Development Policy document that delineates UN development strategy beyond 2015.

An Alternative Idea

Freedom21 Alternative  to the U.N.’s Agenda 21Program for Sustainable Development

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