"What's the big deal, anyhow?"
Reading the "Fine Print" of the Habitat Connectivity Ordinance
"The wildlife corridor won't really impact me that badly."
"I already bought my property - so I don't think it matters that much."
"I can still farm/graze cattle/live in my house, so what's the big deal?"
We've heard all these reasons – and many more.
But if you are one of the thousands of residents who live in or near the County's "Habitat Connectivity Wildlife Corridor," and you think that the Wildlife Corridor Ordinance does not impact you and your property, you are wrong.
- If your property is within the Wildlife Corridor, your property's title now includes that new zoning. Some property owners in the Wildlife Corridor are having difficulties selling their property because of the Corridor zoning designation. It may impact your ability to sell your property in the future.
- Your property is subject to restrictions on outdoor security lighting.
- Your property is subject to restrictions on security fencing.
- Already have fencing installed on your property and think you are exempt? When you replace or repair your security fencing in the future, the new restrictions will apply.
- If your property is one of the hundreds of properties in the "stream buffer zones" in the Wildlife Corridor, you are subject to expensive and time-consuming DISCRETIONARY PERMITTING if you:
- Rebuild your home and any structures damaged or destroyed (more than 50%) by fire, flood, landslide, or other natural disasters
- Repair or replace any security fencing on your property
- Use heavy equipment (including mowers!) to remove or manage vegetation to reduce fire risk on your property
- If your property is within one of the three Critical Wildlife Passage Areas (with very few exemptions):
- All new development on your property must be located within 100 feet of the first structure built on the property. That includes your house, barn, workshop, garage, guest house, ADU's.
- Whether you own 5 acres or 500 acres, you can only build on approximately 40,000 square feet of the entire property. That's less than 1 acre total. But your property taxes have not been adjusted to reflect the fact that you cannot use most of your property as you wish or see fit.
- Already built all the structures you want on your property and think you are exempt? If you want to RENOVATE or add-on to your existing home or buildings on your property, the new restrictions will apply.
The restrictions imposed by the Wildlife Corridor Ordinance are some of the many insidious violations of private property rights happening here and across the United States.
Pacific Legal Foundation described the methods used by government to undermine private property rights in their recent newsletter (click HERE): "In these situations, the government decides that it would prefer a piece of property to be vacant but does not want to buy the property from the landowner. Instead, the government enforces regulations to prevent the landowner from doing anything with the property except leave it as open space. It's a win-win for the government – it gets what it wants for free. But for property owners, who suddenly find themselves with a completely worthless lot, it's a severe violation of their constitutional rights."
The CoLAB lawsuit is the ONLY opportunity available to fight to overturn the entire Wildlife Corridor Ordinance and force the County to develop more reasonable regulations that will not harm private property values or use.
We are fighting for our members – and now we need YOUR help!