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Lake Alice Road connection revisited

A controversial connection between Lake Alice Road and Snoqualmie Ridge is about to be revisited after 16 years of not going anywhere.

The Snoqualmie City Council is set to hold a public comment session regarding the potential road connection on July 24 at 7 p.m. at the Snoqualmie Fire Station.

The suggested connection would cut from Alice Lake Road Southeast to Southeast Carmichael Street on Snoqualmie Ridge.

The proposal has gone before the City Council four times beginning in the late 1980s/early 1990s when the city was first considering policies for Snoqualmie Ridge I, said Snoqualmie City Attorney Pat Anderson.

At that time, an interlocal agreement was made between Snoqualmie, King County and Lake Alice residents to not develop a connecting road after Snoqualmie decided that the majority of Lake Alice residents did not want the road built, Anderson said.

However, that interlocal agreement expired in 2001.

In 1995, Snoqualmie developed a mixed-use financial plan for Snoqualmie Ridge that added a provision to address the possibility of the connecting road. The Snoqualmie City Council decided to not move forward with the proposed connection after receiving feedback from Lake Alice residents.

The Snoqualmie City Council did add to the provision, however, noting that it is subject to alternation should the King County and Snoqualmie councils agree to alter the interlocal amendment.

By 2001, Lake Alice residents and City Council members agreed to the possibility of an emergency-access road.

In 2004, a connecting road for emergency access was added with its right-of-way emergency-access route constructed to be 60 feet, rather than the minimum 20 feet, in case Lake Alice residents should change their minds about developing a local-access road.

Concerns about the connecting road from Lake Alice residents include the increased traffic (by people and vehicles), light and pollution. However, the new road would increase travel time and access to and from Fall City for Snoqualmie Ridge and Lake Alice residents.

It would also serve as a connector between the two communities and decrease local traffic reliance on major roads, said Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson.

Larson said that this issue has resurfaced again due to recent comments from Lake Alice residents that he has received supporting the connection.

Larson noted that there is a timing factor to contend with, as well, because Snoqualmie Ridge II, where the connection would potentially cut through, is expected to be completed within a year.

If the connection is reviewed by the City Council before Snoqualmie Ridge II has been completed, then the city can put up signs to inform potential home buyers that there could be a road built in the area.

However, if the City Council does not review the connection before Snoqualmie Ridge II is complete, "There will be a strong opposition because of what homeowners thought they were buying when they purchased their homes where they did," Larson said.

Larson stressed that the proposed connection will not be a highway; it would be a local-access road.

At the City Council meeting, Larson said the council will, after listening to public comments, vote on a resolution as to whether to do traffic analysis to see if the connection would even potentially be worth looking into further.

Should a resolution be passed and if the traffic analysis suggests a connection could be beneficial - if it is eventually passed by the City Council - it would then have to be passed by the King County Council.

The entire process would take years, Larson said.

If the City Council does not approve the resolution to review traffic patterns, then the proposal would most likely die at this July 24 meeting, Larson said.

The Snoqualmie City Council will meet at 7 p.m. on July 24 at the Snoqualmie Fire Station, 37600 S.E. Snoqualmie Parkway. The public is invited for comment at this time. For more information, call the Administration Building at (425) 888-1555.

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