Opinion

Berm appeal should be pursued

Did you know that if you live in the flood plain the amount of material you bring onto your property could be subjected to fill regulations?

Evidently Weyerhaeuser, using property bordering the Mill Pond Road, did not feel it was adding fill to the floodplain when it built a berm to protect the mill from flooding. A King County Hearing Examiner has basically ruled that Weyerhaeuser did nothing wrong and the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services says that an independent examiner didn't even prove that fill behind the berm had been raised in elevation. I guess a drive along the berm, which towers above the road, portrays an illusion that doesn't really exist. It could be the intense heat that we are having is clouding my vision.

But seriously, the city has no choice but to pursue this to the finish. Unfortunately, attorneys will reap the benefits but there could also be a chance that Weyerhaeuser could be found liable for some of the damage suffered as a result of flooding in historic Snoqualmie. I'm not sure anyone would pursue that but the obvious layperson's view is the berm forces water back toward the city.

But what is really at stake in this argument? Is there really a concern about liability? Is anyone disagreeing that the berm and subsequent fill should be removed? Weyerhaeuser is obviously concerned about its land value, but removing the berm and subsequent fill is the right thing to do. The sooner the better so Snoqualmie residents can deal with less water in their homes.

I urge the city of Snoqualmie to pursue this as far as necessary. Litigation in this matter is a must, not a luxury. King County is wrong in its decision in this case and needs to be shown the light.

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