I am not a lobbyist, a wealthy landowner, politician or lawyer. I am a
citizen of North Bend and resident of Forster Woods. I strongly oppose
the proposed amendment before the King County Council to change the
zoning at South I-90 A and B from forest production to residential.
I live along Ribary Creek and have already experienced loss of
property due to erosion after flooding in 1995 and 1996. As a result of this
flooding, Ribary Creek rerouted itself. This happened after Forster Woods was
developed. I did not live in North Bend at the time that its development was
disputed, but I believe that there is a question as to whether or not it should
have been built at all.
A small section of Foster Woods is built in a hazardous erosion area.
The argument that is being made is that Mr. Zemp’s property is in the vicinity
of the homes at the same elevation, similar slopes, etc. Yes! A hazardous
erosion area as mapped by King County. Almost all of his property is in a
hazardous erosion area.
Let us all remember the lesson we learned and one that I teach my
two daughters daily: Two wrongs don’t make a right. Mr. Zemp purchased
this property, knowing that it was zoned Forest Production. Forest
Production zoning is meant to remain just that, as outlined by the Growth
Management Act, in order to preserve the rural
character of communities and to prevent urban sprawl. He has hired a paid
lobbyist to solicit our King County Council members, and has dangled a
carrot that if they will rezone his property, he will give them access to the
Rattlesnake Ridge Conservatory through his property.
The county is very interested in this access, but it is unclear
whether the trail access would be viable. It is located on a very steep slope, and
is also located in a hazardous erosion area. In addition, any development
of this trail is contingent upon “extensive public process and analysis
before zoning,” and outlined by the county in the Rattlesnake Mountain
The city is against this spot zoning, and so am I. I encourage all
citizens of North Bend to contact all of the King County Council
members and ask them to consider these changes carefully, as their
impact could have irreparable consequences to us all.