North Bend's priorities seem shortsighted

I have been seeing a recurring theme around North Bend that is quite disturbing. The majority of the City Council puts a much higher value on the land in this town than the people who reside here. They have become the school-yard bully, throwing punches left and right hoping the teachers are not watching. Their victims run the gamut from landowners and developers to the simple homeowner in Silver Creek. Here are some personal accounts of some of my friends and neighbors.

My friend in Silver Creek has been working hard all his life. Every month a mortgage payment has been made and finally he now owns his own home. The recent comp-plan amendments have placed his home in a zone that doesn't allow him to rebuild if his house is destroyed. The result is the house he has worked so hard to own has plummeted in value. This is just not right, and only one council member has acknowledged the personal hardship of my friend and 39 of his neighbors.

Another victim in the Silver Creek area is Richard Clark. The city administration has accused Mr. Clark publicly of filling in a wetland at his Snoqualm subdivision. Upon inspection by the Corps of Engineers, they have "determined that there has been no violation of the Clean Water Act because no dredged or fill material was discharged into wetlands or other waters of the United States." Richard has invested his time and money into the North Bend community only to be rewarded by false accusations and litigation.

Where do you think City Hall is getting the money to sue people like Richard in the hopes of slowing down development? That's right, folks, your pocketbook. This is only one of five or six lawsuits funded by taxpayer dollars that the city is presently involved in.

I guess my friends in Silver Creek have the misfortune of not being closer to the well-protected Forster Woods where four of our council members reside. Mr. Wyrsch's land (next to Exit 31 of Interstate 90) was recently changed to mixed use to allow for less intensive commercial development next to the residential area of Forster Woods. Would it matter to the majority of the community if there was a Texaco in that spot? Probably not.

So, these recent comp-plan amendments take into account buffer zones for Forster Woods but not the life savings of the people in Silver Creek! The priorities of the city seem a little shortsighted. Land is not the only thing that matters.

Lisa Cook

North Bend

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