(Editor’s note: The following letter concerns the proposed “I-90
A” and “I-90 B” zoning amendments
currently before the Metropolitan King County Council.)
This amendment requests that an area currently zoned for forest
production be rezoned to rural-residential. This is a very serious request and
I would encourage everyone from our Valley to urge the King County
Council to consider the depth the impact on this infrastructure will have.
Consider the following factors and the complex ramifications to each
of us who actually live next to the areas in question. Our city already is
currently under a City Council-imposed building moratorium. We have
been for a few years, and there is no indication at this time that the
moratorium will be lifted anytime soon.
Our state water permit is currently restricted, not allowing any increase
to the amount of water that the city is permitted to withdraw from the
surrounding water sources. This issue itself is still unresolved, and it
doesn’t appear that it can be resolved in the near future. Any water source used
by any future development of this land will only exasperate the situation
we are now in. Any reduction of forest production land in this area will
only further decrease the supply and increase the demand. This already is
a tremendously divisive political issue.
Consider also the traffic congestion that already exists at our freeway
Exit 31. Both the city and state are on record as saying Exit 31 and
State Route 202 are below safety standards and are classified as an “F.”
Again, there are no reasonable expectations that a solution to the current
traffic problem will be proposed, let alone funded.
Any rezoning of the forest production area making room for
more homes and new residents, of course, will only further complicate this
situation since all the traffic produced by this growth would feed directly
into this intersection.
A third item to consider would be our ongoing negotiation with the
Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state over the issue of
flooding. All of us would agree that this is extremely critical and remains a
long-term problem for the city. Again, any reduction of forest production land
in this area will only further complicate the flooding issue because 100
percent of the groundwater and storm water from any new development
would flow into the area that is already in dispute.
The list goes on. Issues of sewer, water, safety, health and welfare
affect the 3,000 North Bend citizens. But in closing, I would ask that
everyone please try to view this attempted rezoning in a macro-frame, not a
mini-frame, and then you will see it for what it truly is: an attempt by two
landowners to spot zone for profit under the guise of “public access” at the
expense of all living in the North Bend valley.
M. K. McGinnis