Editor: A U.S. government scientist warned in a report 15 years ago of a potential massive landslide near Arlington, Wash. However, Snohomish County officials permitted homes to be built in the area known as “Hazel Landslide,” which had a history of mudslides over the past 50 years.
The current county public works director and previous county officials should be held directly responsible for people killed in the recent landslide because they did not rezone the area and stop the building of new homes. They claim ignorance of the 15-year-old report but they knew the sloping area was very risky but took no action.
We have a similar problem on the Island because the P.E.I. government continues to ignore several excellent land use studies because they don’t want to do proper zoning due to controversy with farmers. Thousands of subdivision lots have been approved without proper soil and water testing so we now have enough lots to do us for the next 100 years.
However, many of the subdivisions should be retested and removed from the market but the government is loath to do it because they are owned by party supporters and farmers. Land use planning and proper zoning is a specific responsibility of government; however it is being ignored and avoided like the plague which is a disgrace and a cop-out.