Opinion

Treemont to have negative impacts

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.

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