Menu

ARCHIVE

Private Property May Become Preserved

Residents of King County, Wash., will only be able to build on 10 percent of their land, according to a new law being considered by the county government, which, if enacted, will be the most restrictive land use law in the nation.

Known as the 65-10 Rule (search), it calls for landowners to set aside 65 percent of their property and keep it in its natural, vegetative state. According to the rule, nothing can be built on this land, and if a tree is cut down, for example, it must be replanted. Building anything is out of the question.

Most of the residents who will be directly affected by the regulations — those who own property in the rural areas of the country — are fuming. They see the new regulations as a land grab and a violation of their property rights.

"My take is it's stealing — out and out stealing," said county resident Marshall Brenden. "They're taking 65 percent of your land that you fought for years to pay for, paid mortgages on and now you can't use it."

But supporters and environmentalists say personal property rights do not trump the rights of a larger community to save the eco-system (search).

"We're trying to keep the rural area a place that isn't just McMansions and ball courts, but instead has those natural processes," said Tim Trohimovich of the group 1000 Friends of Washington (search), which aims to promote healthy communities and cities while protecting farmland and forests.

The plan is being pushed by King County Executive Ron Sims, who is currently running for governor.

Click on the video box at the top of this story to watch a report by Fox News' Dan Springer.