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Lack of vision with North Bend hotel decision
As the readers of this paper are aware, the North Bend City Council voted 6-1 on April 6 to allow the construction of a 55-foot high hotel south of I-90 at the Exit 31 interchange.
Along with my fellow citizens, I am disappointed by their decision. Because of its height, a hotel at this location will define the image of North Bend for people in the ten million vehicles that cross Snoqualmie Pass each year. Instead of being seen according to the city motto: “Easy to reach … hard to leave” we will be known as the “Easy to reach and easy to leave” little town. This is not an image we want as we develop our fantastic community.
I am more disappointed by the lack of vision and leadership the decision demonstrated. This vote was an opportunity to ensure our town develops in a way consistent with its rural character and in a way that truly leverages our natural beauty for our economic gain. It was also an opportunity for the city leadership to find a creative compromise that united our town, put the currently empty land to productive use and preserved the economic interest of the property owner: a visitor center would be an ideal compromise. Instead, the council took the easy technocratic choice and only considered the very narrow issue presented to them. We need courageous city leaders who, in partnership with citizens and business leaders, develop a true vision for our town’s growth that lays the foundation for our future economic success. I hope there are fellow citizens in our community who have such a vision and are willing to lead and serve on the city council. They will certainly have my vote.