Treemont to have negative impacts
October 3, 2008 · Updated 1:43 AM
The Treemont subdivision will be approved by King County if we
don't act quickly.
This property has silt and clay soils, high landslide hazard risk
and steep _ 40 to 60 percent _ slopes. The required access road built adjacent
to Patterson Creek will guarantee a disaster to the salmon species that
spawn there. The developer, Port Blakely, will endanger and jeopardize the future
of salmon in Patterson Creek by increasing the density of houses to about
one house per acre, a 1988 level.
Current standards and King County Code zoned the property
one house per five acres, but a loophole in the law allows the developer to
interpret and vest to the vague 1988 standards. The vesting was allowed
by King County even though additional pieces of property and several
variances were added to the application from 1992 to 1999.
King County abdicated their duty to protect the people and the
environment because of the dogged determination of the developer.
Steve Foley of the Water and Land Resources Division in an e-mail to
the Department of Development and Environmental Services called the
project "a scary site." The hearing
examiner's report stated, "In view of the
foregoing, we conclude somewhat reluctantly that the new Southeast
19th Street access road proposed by the Applicant can only be regarded as a
bad idea whose time has finally come." On October 15, 1999, Laura Casey,
the DDES senior ecologist, recommended against approval of the applicant's
proposed new access road.
The development will increase flooding. Strong opposition
came from the people and farmers who live in the Snoqualmie Valley. The
cumulative effect of all projects in the basin must be considered before
additional water is dumped into the river basin.
Although flooding will increase, the developer and King
County claimed the people who live in the Snoqualmie Valley are already
flooding and the cumulative effect of this proposal is a small additional
contribution. This logic by King County has allowed each developer to
incrementally increase their runoff to the Snoqualmie River, yet
no one is accountable for the cumulative effect
of this water on the people and farmers who live in the Valley.
Traffic in the area _ or in Seattle, for that matter _ is already at a
deplorable level. The developer's traffic report contained "fallacious
assumptions and important omissions," per the hearing examiner's report.
The developer's report "contains no meaningful analysis of current
congestion at the I-90/Issaquah ramps nor of the S.R. 202 corridor within
Redmond." The Issaquah-Fall City Road and
East Lake Sammamish Parkway intersection is "bad beyond the capacity
for accurate calculation."
This development will contain 194 individual septic systems even
though the site is underlain at relatively shallow depths with an impermeable
till layer, "which accounts for the thinness of the top soil and the high
winter water table." This high water table, combined with steep slopes and
thin topsoil, is a formula for disaster.
I'm afraid the only options available require either organizing the
Valley to resist projects that will increase flooding, rallying citizens
concerned about excessive development and the impact on salmon, and/or finding
an attorney to file an appeal.