APZ Dissidents and their Propaganda

Author:Ken Wolf

Becky Spraitzer, Island County’s APZ Czar, recently put forth her version of “facts.”

“Over 1200 properties have lost their ability to use their land as a result of the Navy’s request, so far….with no compensation…and no notification. This loss of land use is a ‘Taking” of property rights for the benefit of the Navy.” Becky Spraitzer, 7 May 2013

Now the Flip Side:

Starting with the first segment of her proclaimation:“Over 1200 properties have lost their ability to use their land.”

“For property within an APZ zone, the ordinance sets restrictions on subdivisions and on uses, specifically those that would result in a number of people congregating at one spot. Uses that are restricted in APZ1, the area with the highest risk, include daycare facilities, schools, veterinary clinics, bed and breakfast facilities, and community gathering places like churches.

Many North Whidbey residents who live within the zone were upset about the restrictions on their property. Spraitzer unsuccessfully challenged the ordinance before the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board.” Whidbey News Times March 5, 2012

Now the question: What restrictions are North Whidbey residents really upset with? Are they using their property for ANY of the restrictions in APZ1? Is Becky Spraitzer or the 1200 residents trying to set up a daycare facilities, churches, schools, veterinary clinics, bed and breakfasts, or subdivide their property?

Now for the second segment of her proclaimation: “as a result of the Navy’s request, so far….with no compensation…and no notification.”

“McDowell emphasized that the density-regulating ordinance for properties lying within the APZ was not solicited by the Navy. He said the county, when updating its comprehensive plan as required by the Growth Management Act, evaluated the flight patterns and the properties lying within the “racetrack formation.” Whidbey News Times July 3, 2008

Her last sentence: “This loss of land use is a ‘Taking” of property rights for the benefit of the Navy.”

“Although the likelihood of a plane crash within the designated zone is minute, McDowell said it is the county’s duty to account for all contingencies and remove as much risk as possible to protect citizens.

This prevents high density use like churches or daycare centers within the rural zoning. For health and safety, I believe in zoning, he said, adding that the GMA did away with subdivisions and longplats in 1990. You can still have a home. Again, what we’re regulating is high density use.” Whidbey News Times, July 3, 2008


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  1. avatar

    Here are some documents that delineate Island County’s APZs:

    17.03.040 Definitions
    Aircraft Accident Potential Zone (APZ)

    APZ Tables

    APZ Map


  2. avatar

    So what makes Becky Spraitzer so special?

    Most landowners have had uses taken away from them.
    If I were to wish to be able to build an explosive manufacturing plant on my property the laws have taken that so called “right” away from me. I also cannot build a fertilizer factory or a feed lot or use my property for any number of things that my land is not zoned for.

    Her statement “Over 1200 properties have lost their ability to use their land ” is a complete falsehood. Even if she had a multifamily apartment building on her property it would have been grandfathered in under prior use after these restrictions were passed. No one has been told by anyone that they cannot use their property as it was previously used.

    This is the type of falsehoods that the anti NAS Whidbey/OLF people are using in their campaign. It is not a campaign of factual and logical information it is a diatribe designed to influence those who are prone to being sympathetic to a feel good cause just because it exists.



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