It doesn’t pay to wait around. The broad based coalition of Washington civic organizations opposing Initiative 933 wisely knows that. They are not just waiting around for the Farm Bureau and the out of state Americans for Limited Government to turn in signatures for Initiative 933 unopposed.
Full page ads were placed yesterday in the Seattle Times, Seattle PI, Everett Herald, The Olympian, The Columbian in Vancouver and the Spokesman-Review in Spokane urging voters not to sign the initiative. I-933 needs to collect about 270,000 signatures by July 7, 2006 to make it onto the November ballot. (Note: 224,880 valid signatures needed)
The No on 933 campaign has also put up a new website. You can go there to volunteer and also pledge to vote no.
Initiative 933 is patterned after Measure 37 in Oregon. As the American Planning Association notes:
In 2004, voters in Oregon approved a sweeping regulatory takings ballot initiative known as Measure 37. The measure undoes a wide swath of legal and legislative precedent by allowing individual landowners to claim compensation from the local community for any decrease in property value due to planning, environmental or other government safeguards.
As expected, radical property rights organizations have seized on the passage of Measure 37 to promote similar ballot measure in other states. These same advocates are also attempting to tap into public sentiment on eminent domain. Many of the Measure 37 “clones” are being quietly folded into ballot measures ostensibly aimed at eminent domain.
Regulatory takings initiatives threaten a wide array of planning, environmental, historic preservation, and land conservation measures.
Initiative 933 would gut years of hard fought and won protections in Washington against unmanaged growth. It would gut decades of citizen involvement in creating reasonable zoning to protect homeowners and businesses from inappropriate and ill planned unregulated development. I-933 would force cities and counties to make the choice between paying developers billions or allowing unregulated development to take place.
As the No on 933 campaign says “I-933 creates a “pay or waive” system that will force taxpayers to pay billions of dollars to stop irresponsible development or exempt certain people from the law. I-933 is a poorly written law that will place additional unfair burdens on Washington taxpayers for years to come. ”
I-933 is special interest legislation being bought and paid for by development interests and huge amounts of out of state money. The out of state right wing activist group, Americans for Limited Government, has contributed $200,000 to help place I-933 on the ballot.
In Washington State the major supporter and sponsor of Initiative 933 is the Washington State Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau represents large corporate farming interests in Washington State.