Opinion

Permit process six months later

About six months ago I wrote a letter about trying to get a building permit for an espresso and sandwich shop the size of a pickup truck (you know the ones, they are on lots of street corners) from the city of Snoqualmie.

It has been eight months and still no permits. The planning department is dragging their feet. First I received the shoreline permit back and low and behold, like the one received back for the quick lube, it is still 2,300 feet from the river and will have no impact on the shoreline. The cost for that insight was only an extra $1,000 and took three months.

At first they thought the permits were going to come out June 18, but no, they wanted to have a turning radius looked at. Apparently they couldn't do that the first eight months the plans were on their desks. Never mind they could drive 3 minutes from their office, in their car, and actually do the turn themselves (that's what I did and it was no problem). Nope, they have to send it to an engineer and have them look at it. That will delay it until at least the middle of July. So it will be a minimum of nine months before they might have a permit ready.

They had other issues also. The trees they wanted last year apparently aren't good enough this year so those will have to be changed out, too. A blue color was proposed for the trim but they didn't like it, so I get to keep sending in blue color samples until they see one they like. There are only 43 shades of blue so how long can they use that as a stall tactic? They also want to have a parking agreement written up between the owner of the quick lube and the owner of the new espresso stand, who do they think owns both of them?

On the bright side, we will be into permits and fees with the city of Snoqualmie for about $8,000. Let's just say we make a profit of 50 cents a cup, that's only 16,000 cups of coffee to break even on permits alone. I often wondered why the price of a mocha is so high, now I know.

At this time I won't even tell you the things they are doing and charging to you, the taxpayer. Let's not discuss the lost job opportunities or B & O taxes the city is missing out on either. They have plenty of money in their city coffers.

It is such a wonderful feeling to be held to such a high standard by the city and then watch what they do on their project. Check out the fine grading, storm drains, blacktop and landscaping they required on their project at the parking lot next to the bowling alley. Oh, that's right, they have done none of that. Do as I say, not as I do.

I'm trying to open this stand as a side business. My regular job is a taxpayer-funded position and when the public calls, we try and respond quickly and professionally. It's too bad the city of Snoqualmie's planning department doesn't have those same goals. As long as there are taxpayer-funded departments like this in government, Tim Eyman should have no problem getting enough votes.

I'm not alone in this. The last few builders took their complaints directly to Mayor Fletcher. They would like to write a letter but are afraid of the repercussions. The permit process is already difficult enough.

Bob Venera

Snoqualmie

For all the letters, pick up a copy of this weeks Valley Record

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