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Residents still fighting Duvall mine

DUVALL — About 140 residents were quickly schooled last week

on the process the proposed Duvall Mine must go through before it can

begin operating.

The gathering was sponsored by Friends of Cherry Valley — a

group that's fighting to keep the gravel pit out of their neighborhood — and

included several officials from King County and Washington State

Department of Transportation. Throughout the night the county

representatives continually told opponents that a

thorough review on the proposal would be completed and the public would

have a chance to voice their opinions every step of the process.

"The county staff have made visits to the site and we concluded

the project would have a significant environmental impact," said

Fereshteh Dehkordi, the county's State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)

coordinator.

The county will have to wait until all public comments on the

Duvall Mine's grading permit are received before a request for an

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) can be handed down.

The county has tentatively set a SEPA scoping hearing for March

in Duvall. At that meeting officials would gather comments on what

short-term, long-term and cumulative effects the EIS should address.

Despite the county's pledge to carefully study the proposal by

Seattle General Corporation, the company that owns the property along

State Route 203 north of Duvall, some residents questioned how the county

could let the plan get so far. Especially since the mine would adversely affect

the community, environment and traffic.

According to the proposal, at the peak of production more than

200 trucks will drive in and out of the city each day.

"You need to consider the survival of this town," said Jeff

Rosenfield. "Because if you allow rock trucks down this road, you'll kill our town."

Kate Brougham, a teacher at Carnation Elementary, focused her

attention on the daily impacts it would have on Cherry Valley Elementary just

a few miles away.

"Is the school supposed to stop and have the children wait for the

bombing to stop across the Valley?" she asked.

Friends of Cherry Valley is also carefully monitoring the King

County Council's vote on the 2000 Comprehensive Plan. One of the

executive's proposed changes includes that if

"any sites that have been denied a …

grading and operating permit. Such sites shall be re-designated to a land

use compatible with the surrounding properties." In Duvall Mine's case, it

would be rezoned to rural residential.

But even if the county rejects the comp plan proposal, Clarise

Mahler, the president of Friends of Cherry Valley, is confident that the

proposed mine will not proceed.

"There are enough issues with this permit that the Department of

Development and Environmental Services will reject it," she said. "We will

be there every step of the way."

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