Re: “Geoduck regulations worry beach owners” (TNT, 7-29).
Geoduck farming is the tip of the shoreline zoning iceberg. The proposed Pierce County regulation creates four shoreside zones: natural, conservation, residential and commercial, then creates a fifth “anything goes” aquatic zone (subject to other agencies’ supposed review).
There should be consistency between permitted shoreside uses and adjoining aquatic uses. Natural shoreside should require natural aquatic uses, for instance. The proposed regulation, applied to any other jurisdiction, would in effect restrict uses of residential back and side-yards and allow most anything – a convenience store, an oil refinery, etc. in front yards, regardless of the area’s zoning character.
In today’s economy, government units might be convinced by powerful lobbyists to promote commercial interests above those of residential property owners, but that would be seriously short-sighted. When Asian customers realize they don’t really accrue sexual powers from geoduck tissue, the precedent for commercial and industrial structure (such as miles of above-ground pipes per acre) carte blanche aquatic land use will result in serious and perpetual unintended consequences.
Consistency between shoreside and aquatic uses should be jealously and consistently protected.