Irons hosts forum on subarea plan
October 2, 2008 · Updated 2:57 PM
FALL CITY About 60 Fall City residents showed up at King
County Councilman David Irons' getting-to-know-the-issue forum last week on
the Fall City Subarea Plan. The newly elected official listened as
people stood up and testified for and against the plan while others urged
their neighbors to "compromise" their views.
The latest talks are a culmination of months of discussion on the
plan that King County Executive Ron Sims approved last September. The
plan was then forwarded to the Growth Management and Unincorporated
Areas Committee who will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. on March 14 at
Chief Kanim Middle School.
The Subarea Plan will replace the 11-year-old Snoqualmie Valley
Community Plan which zoned the city for anticipated growth and sewers
a step many residents strongly oppose. After months of meetings,
however, the Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) recommended to shrink
the town boundaries and rezone the Urban Reserve to RA-5 (one
dwelling unit per five acres). Other CAC-backed zoning changes
included eliminating potential commercial zoning and potential mining areas.
Most of the people who testified agreed that preserving Fall City's
rural character was very important. But exactly where the new zoning
boundaries should be, generated a lot of discussion.
Some said that negotiating with an owner about the proposed
boundary lines would only cause a "domino effect" of requests from others
who would want the same consideration.
Instead, Fall City resident Paul Carkeek urged the other residents
to support the executive's recommendation because it represented the
interests of the community.
"No plan makes everyone happy," said Carkeek. "And this plan
really spoke through the consensus feeling of the CAC. Things do change and
in order for us to be a healthy community, we all need to bend to others
for their best interest."
Lance Keizer proposed a creative way to solve the dispute among
property owners who want to develop their land but can't because of the
proposed zoning restrictions.
"I'm wondering if in the executive's proposal if he took out
a map and drew what the people wanted, to see?" he asked. "There are only
a couple dozen people who want to do something, and if you see it, it
won't be much [development]."
Another resident agreed that the county should ease up on
restrictions in the residential areas, but for a
different reason. Ian Macrae, an alternate member of the CAC, said in the
old days people were allowed to sell "eggs and milk from a shack" and that
businesses shouldn't be grouped up like they are in Fall City.
"We're creating a Klahanie with all houses. I want to see more
businesses. We're not building neighborhoods, we're building housing ghettos,"
he said. "Why not have an Italian restaurant and a tavern on the corner?"
Other key points of Sims' Subarea Plan recommendation include:
Investigate feasibility of alternate sewage disposal methods for the
Study the possibility of creating a core landmark and historic
Evaluate traffic problems;
Designate the Preston-Fall City Road as a scenic drive; and
Provide more trails and open space.
As for Irons' comments on the plan, he said he'd wait until all the
information has been gathered at the public hearing before he makes
his position known. The entire Growth Management and Unincorporated
Areas Committee will be at the March 14 meeting.
A copy of the CAC's and Sims' proposal can be viewed at the
county's Web site at www.metrokc.gov/ddes.
In addition to the upcoming public hearing, the council will also
accept written testimony to the King County Council, 516 3rd Ave.,
Room 1200, Seattle, WA 98104. The plan could possibly be forwarded to the
full council by late this month or early April.