This writer has received several requests for a further explanation as to JZ Knight’s challenge to 5 proposed subdivisions the City of Yelm approved. While The Olympian covered this issue in a brief story on March 5th, the local Nisqually Valley News (NVN) did not.
[UPDATE: The NVN published a front page story on this issue in their March 14th edition, 10 days after Ms. Knight’s Press Release.]
On April 28, 2006, The Olympian reported this about Lacey, “Last June, the city imposed a de facto moratorium on new development within its urban growth area because it is rapidly running out of water its authorized to withdraw.” [For access to this story, scroll down on the hotlink to ” Lacey signs on to water deal”].
Is Yelm next?
For area readers to see Ms. Knight’s views unabridged, the following is the Press Release from her Public Relations firm on this subject:
JZ Knight challenges City of Yelms approval of five proposed subdivisions
Knight files Land Use Petition in Superior Court of Washington citing lack of available water resources to meet current & existing demand
Yelm, WA. [March 4, 2008] JZ Knight, the founder of Ramthas School of Enlightenment (www.ramtha.com), has filed a Land Use Petition in the Superior Court of Washington challenging the City of Yelms decision (Resolution No. 481, adopted February 12, 2008) approving five proposed subdivisions (Tahoma Terra Phase II, Divisions 5 & 6; Windshadow I; Windshadow II; Wyndstone; and Berry Valley I). The petition states that the Petitioners personal and property rights and interests will be directly and adversely affected by the Citys decision based on the fact that substantial new development and new water demand will greatly exceed the Citys ability and legal rights to provide adequate water service.
City evidence shows that the City of Yelm exceeded its water rights in both 2006 and 2007 and has not accounted for the water supply that will be needed to serve approved projects. The Petitioners opinions are further bolstered by evidence from the Washington State Department of Ecology confirming that the Citys water demand exceeds the Citys water rights.
The Land Use Petition affirms that Petitioners water rights have priority over, and are protected against impairment by, all subsequent new uses of water, including new water rights and changes to all existing water rights, such as would be required to serve the proposed subdivisions. Yet, despite lack of demonstrable water availability, the five proposed subdivisions were approved by the Yelm City Council on February 12, 2008. In fact, the Citys own Comprehensive Water Plan concedes that acquiring any new water rights is increasingly difficult, if not impossible.
With respect to additional water rights the City hopes to acquire by 2012, the Citys own water plan acknowledges that it is unlikely that a new well source will be approved or that water rights will be granted by the Department of Ecology. Knights Petition asserts that the Citys own water plan undermines the Citys claim that it will acquire significant new water rights to serve future development.
It is abundantly clear that the City of Yelm does not have an adequate potable water supply to serve these approved projects, states Knight. The City has not been able to stay within its legal water rights for the past two years. How will it serve the hundreds of homes it approved last year, which have not yet been built, when it already has a water deficit? And now it wants to approve another 568 homes? As Ive stated all along, I am in favor of measured growth in Yelm but cannot, in good conscience, remain silent as the City of Yelm continues with unchecked development at a pace that cannot accommodate either current or future water needs without adversely affecting the existing residents of Yelm.
This court appeal would have been completely unnecessary if the Washington State Department of Ecology and Department of Health would have stepped in to protect the public interest by requiring that the City of Yelm have responsible plans in place for providing potable water to new development. Unfortunately, the agencies have not used their authority to protect the publics interest.
The Land Use Petition also cites a number of erroneous interpretations of the law by the City of Yelm in its final decision on the five proposed subdivisions, including the following: the City relied on erroneous information regarding its legal water rights in making determinations of current and future potable water supplies; the City failed to provide reasonable and non-speculative evidence of an adequate future potable water supply to serve these five proposed subdivisions; and, the City failed to require compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and other conditions imposed on these proposed subdivisions in the Citys prior land use approvals.
Copies of the Land Use Petition filed in the Superior Court of Washington in and for Thurston County are available for review upon request by contacting Liam Collopy, Media Representative for JZ Knight, at 310.300.0950 x 232 or via e-mail at lcollopy@LCOonline.com.
About JZ Knight
JZ Knight was born in Roswell, New Mexico, in March 1946. She is the author of the bestselling autobiography, A State of Mind: My Story, the unique channel of Ramtha the Enlightened One, and one of the most charismatic leaders of the Schools of Ancient Wisdom and the Great Work in the world today.
Press Contacts for JZ Knight:
LCO – Levine Communications Office
1180 S. Beverly Dr. Third Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90035
T: 310.300.0950 x 232
T. 310.300.0950 x236