Ladies & Gentlemen,
I am writing to voice my strong opposition to the purchase of the Clure property by the San Juan County Land Bank.
The San Juan County Land Bank (“Land Bank”) has failed to pursue the acquisition of this property, or its long-range plan, in an open and transparent manner. Additionally, the Land Bank has not investigated the environmental or community impacts its own proposal will likely have. I oppose this proposal, not because I am against the preservation of the Island’s beautiful places, but because public access will definitely not protect the space more than it is already protected.
The San Juan County Land Bank is a body of, and for, the citizens, residents, and property owners of San Juan County. Yet, through its proposal, the Land Bank will systematically put both a delicate portion of the Island’s shoreline, and its residents, at risk, while also certainly lowering the property values of the adjacent property owners who will be hugely impacted by this acquisition and the creation of a public access point.
The rock slide danger and delicate nature of the particular beach directly east of Shark Reef cannot be overstated. This is NOT an area for the public or tourists and any investigation into the nature of the area would reflect as much. The best way to protect this beach is to leave it alone.
The rush of this sale, and the failure to notify or engage the public in meaningful dialogue, is an attempt to avoid a conversation because somewhere, somebody, knows it is a bad idea. Or, at least somebody is smart enough to realize they wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of such treatment if it was THEIR property rights being manipulated.
If the Land Bank is truly committed to its own mission of serving the community and the environment through preservation, then its Board Members have a unique responsibility to take the necessary steps to fully investigate the environmental, legal, fiscal and social impacts of its proposal before moving any farther forward.
Thus far, the Land Bank Board has failed to take this responsibility, or their responsibility as government officials, seriously and for this reason and those stated above, I vehemently oppose this acquisition.