Wednesday, October 7, 2009

PDS issues permits for a farm project, and then withdraws the permits.

So here's a pretty cool idea that fits right into the local food / growing your own food idea

So there's this guy, and he has an idea.  Take some land, split it into one acre parcels, sell them to people who want to do ag.  Each parcel is an acre, has a small barn, with electricity and water, and there's a farm stand as part of the property where you can sell your produce.  The picture above is the sign that's in front of the project.

Being a careful guy, he checks with the Snohomish county Planning and Development services about this idea.  They're not sure, so they do what they're supposed to do, and refer this question to the Snohomish Agriculture advisory board.  The snoco ag advisory board starts talking about this project in June of 2008
and then talks about it more in July of 2008, and then again in August of 2008.   In September, the Ag advisory board asked for more time to consider the proposal, and Tom Rowe said they could take as much time as necessary.  In October, the farm advisory board appeared to agree that the basic concept was agriculture related, and from the comments, were generally positive about the project.   In December, there's discussion of the vinyl fences consituting a blockage in the flood plain.

With all this discussion in front of the farm board and with PDS staff, you can't say that any of this is a surprise.  What's a surprise is that Snohomish county PULLS THE ISSUED PERMITS FOR THIS PROJECT.  

What in the world did this guy do wrong?   There's at least 6 months of discussion, the ag board likes it, they issue the permits, and then PDS screws this guy.  They're forcing him to remove the barns, fencing and improvements.  Complete loss.  They won't even return the $25k in permit fees for permits that they issued and then withdrew.   He did all this work and planning with the permits in hand, and then got screwed. 

This isn't someone who built a bunch of stuff with checking or without permits.  HE HAD PERMITS IN HAND and he discussed this with PDS for at least 6 months.


  1. Sounds to me like its time for the small farmers to get together and sue the county. With the various free trade rules you should have lots of ammo.

  2. I agree with Dave. DH and I were driving by there and I told him about what was said about it here and MR Cool Hand Luke who never gets riled about anything, said the county should be sued. As an Architect who deals with getting permits on a regular basis, this does not set well with him. He would like more information and may well know a few folks that can stir things up a bit. I know you are always very busy, but if you can email me some contact information, I would appreciate it as I would really like to see some cages rattle.