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Seattle’s Green Fleece

July 9, 2008

July 10 marks Day 30 for Mayor Greg Nickels’s crew to produce a gun ban plan that can take the heat of state law. I do not think it’s going to happen. But this mayor has other greenscams to keep the Emerald City in the red.

The remnant of reasonable people in the city has got to be seeing red in the nauseous green haze of Nickels’s whims. For one thing, he’s developed a queer hatred for “unattractive” town homes.

Unattractive means they don’t have enough windows facing the street (for certain officials to peer into?). They have six-foot fences so residents don’t have to look at the street, and vice versa. They are too “car-focused,” meaning there’s adequate parking for residents. If the development is near a light rail station, parking will be significantly reduced. But Mr. Mayor, the light rail doesn’t go to my niece’s graduation in Minnesota….Shut up and board, Ma’am.

The mayor’s solution to the ugliness of privacy and convenience is to have city employees review all town home plans. It won’t be cheap and it won’t be fast. Reviews are expected to take six to nine months. Seattle just got really ugly to developers. But who with any self-respect would want to move there? This is a city where officials go through your garbage (okay, they only use “visual recognition,” they don’t actually paw through it) to make sure you’re recycling all you could be.

Now the city is going to fund a squadron of bag police to make sure everyone is paying 20 cents a bag when they affront the holy planet and need a paper or plastic bag at the grocery store. An auditor with an administrative assistant will be on the payroll deck, too. The store will be fined $250 for reimbursing the hapless customer who forgot her earth-saving polypropylene bag, made in the People’s Republic of China.

Seattle’s “Green Fees” are likely to kick up a fair amount of dust in what was once or twice dubbed the nation’s Most Intelligent City.

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