Although it seems to have fallen on deaf ears, here’s a great letter from conservative east side Republican Chris Fillios to the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee regarding the Unified Land Use Code controversy. It’s not just KEA with concerns about the “property rights” concerns:

I understand tonight’s Republican Central Committee meeting is for the purpose of passing the resolution re:  the ULUC, ensuring the protection of property rights.

Opponents of the current effort re:  Kendig Keast (KK), fail to acknowledge certain facts.  Let me share them with you:

1.  There were 524 part-time KC residents who submitted mail-in surveys from 8/21/2006 to 9/29/2006;  additionally, there were “meetings in a box” over a six-week period, 54 meetings, and 710 residents participated from a cross-section of the County.  This was provided to the Planning Commission, along with two years of meetings (120 meetings!) open to the public, at which anyone could contribute to the drafting of the Comp Plan (approved in 12/2010 by the former county commissioners.

2.  The current ordinances do a poor job of protecting private property rights;  hence, the myriad of lawsuits, prolonged decisions, and resident frustration.

3.  KK was chosen from among a short list of six finalists, and the selection process involved 35 residents of KC from a variety of backgrounds.  The argument that KK is not local is spurious at best, as there is not a local firm with the resident expertise in writing ordinances.  There was a finalist from Spokane, but their presentation was found lacking.

4.  I personally know most of the members of the Planning Commission, and I can vouch for the fact that none of the members had ever heard of Agenda 21, much less allow for UN influence over our local planning process.

5.  There are those within the CC who believe that we ought to eliminate zoning.  This will only give rise to gated communities, (witness Texas as this was the only way homeowners could protect their values).  Zoning is constitutional, and exists to provide consistency of use.

The effort by those opposed to the ULUC effort, is disingenuous and self-serving.  I say this because the opposition had plenty of time to participate in the open meetings over the past five years,and chose not to do so.  Additionally, this nonsense regarding Agenda 21 is a convenient excuse for ignoring state statutes, distortion of the facts, and fear mongering by the few.

Sadly, many Central Committee members, plagued with anti-Obama syndrome, will ignorantly vote to pass a resolution which will do more to divide our community, and harm economic growth.

If our CC members feel that this effort smacks of socialism, then they should also realize that one of the defining characteristics of socialism is centralized planning.  Our efforts represent local planning, as mandated by state statute.  If everyone has a right to plan – and I’ve been involved in five-year corporate planning efforts- and private citizens can hire financial planners, why can’t governmental entities do the same?

I urge you to defeat the resolution to water down our land use efforts.  Land use is about stewardship, not control.


Chris Fillios.