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Home » Archives » January 2009 » Council Passes Critical Aquifer Ordinance

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01/05/2009: "Council Passes Critical Aquifer Ordinance"


//11/19/2008// In a split vote, the County Council voted Tuesday to designate all of San Juan County as a CARA (Critical Aquifer Recharge Area).

There was very little support for the ordinance at the first public hearing, and a concern by the Council that the proposal had not been well publicized, so it was decided to delay making a decision until additional information could be received (see: "Critical Area Designation Delayed"), but by Tuesday the Council was ready to vote on the matter.

Councilman Alan Lichter was not present, but councilmen Knapp, Rosenfeld, Myhr and Ranker voting for it, while Councilman Rich Peterson voted against.

“There is a common sense test that it does not meet. Calling the entire county a CARA is simply not correct,” he said.

Peterson suggested that the rules be passed, but that only those areas known to have critical areas -and need to be so classified and adopted as such in order to reach GMA compliance- be included.

Staff said that could be done, and could do so without going back for new public hearings.

Councilman Bob Myhr said including the whole county was “the best way to go right now.”

Ranker moved for adoption with a two year sunset clause so they could take a second look at it at that time.

Motion passed with Peterson voting against.

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