In April of 2013, we featured a story and radio program on Joe Remenar. In August of 2013 this story was highlighted in a Freedom Foundation online posting and video, Tales of Tyranny: Remenar Pond. This is a sad story whereby Whatcom County public works took the Remenar’s life dream of creating a natural pond and refuge on their property and created a nightmare. Although the Remenar’s Pond was found to have negligible and benign effect to the environment, this outcome is far from what we would expect from a public agency.
Here is Joe’s update on “Remenar Pond.”
After talking to Joe about his email to me and getting his permission to share it with you, he also added these two things:
Thank you for the honorable mention on Saturday morning. As far as my pond, the county has allowed me to keep it as long as I complete extensive mitigation. I received a favorable ruling from Washington Fish and Wildlife and a benign ruling from the Army Corps of Engineers who basically said I technically violated the Clean Water Act but there was no downstream impact and they would not pursue any action against me. It’s costing me close to an additional $5000 to have hundreds of native trees, plants, and bushes planted. I then have to submit a report each year for five years and replace dead plantings over that time period. I’ve had to pay over $10,000 since I built the pond. I guess that’s the cost of trying to improve my property and the environment for wildlife. Once again, thank you for all your assistance.
- Once the plantings around Joe’s pond have reached maturity of five years the pond will no longer be visible from Joe’s home. Their tranquil view of the natural pond and refuge they created will be forever obscured.
- The County has required Joe to open and deposit $3500.00 to an account that the County will have access to. So, if Joe fails to replace any of the vegetation that has been planted around his pond the County will reach into this account and do what? Use his money to replant, or will they just take it as further penalty? The County is treating Joe like a developer and has required him to post a bond for the County’s benefit.