Letters to the Editor - 5/21/18

  • Written by Readers
Thank you to the DeYoung Family for assuring Woodinville’s bright future.
I was pleased as I passed by the DeYoung park today and saw the progress that is being made there.  After much planning, community input, and the generous support of the DeYoung Family it looks like we will have another downtown community resource in Woodinville.  With all of the growth, traffic and congestion that has come to the Seattle area recently, it is truly a blessing to reap the rewards of the long term vision and investment made by founding members of our community, like the DeYoung Family.
When I grew up in Woodinville, dairy manure was sprayed on the fields each day this time of year.  There were so few trees back then that the hot air balloons and smell of cows would wafted over the city each night.  It was a constant reminder of what “country living, city style” really meant. 
I have no grief that the manure is gone, though I miss the frequent hot air balloon landings that once upon a time defined the airspace above our town.
Who could have seen the great future and progress that our city has made since then?  As the trees have grown so have the arboreal hazards that accompany them, but thanks to a volunteer tree board our future is safe. Each day we benefit from all the hard work that was done before us and the generous public investments that people made for us without expecting anything in return.
Brendan Woodward, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - 5/14/18

  • Written by Readers
Preserve Your Civic Campus Mailing
Did you receive a recent mailing to “Preserve Your Civic Campus” from a “Local Postal Customer?” So did I.  This mailing is very misleading, and I might suggest, perhaps illegal, as the person/organization responsible for the mailing is not properly identified.
The mailing suggests…if residents STOP the proposed redevelopment of the Civic Campus, both the Carol Edwards Center and Woodinville School will be preserved for future generations.  This is just not true.  Alone, the city does not have the additional resources needed to preserve/redevelop either the Carol Edwards Center or the Woodinville School.
The current proposed redevelopment and preservation of the 3 acre Civic Campus is a public/private partnership.  After nearly 18 years and six iterations, this partnership offers Woodinville the BEST opportunity to actually PRESERVE both the Woodinville School and  the Carol Edwards Center.  Both are in serious disrepair.
Yes, the proposed redevelopment will add apartments, but this public/private partnership will also ensure the preservation of the Woodinville School, preservation and EXPANSION of the Carol Edwards Center, creation of NEW multi-use public spaces and generate ADDITIONAL revenue to the city.  This is a forward thinking proposal that preserves Woodinville’s Civic Campus for future generations.
Sandra White, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - 5/7/18

  • Written by Readers
Woodinville needs a Lorax
I was shocked as I drove through downtown Woodinville past DeYoung Park.  The mini but might evergreen forest was gone and only a few sentinel trees remained.  My excitement at the news of the park’s planned revitalized was shatter by the fall of the trees.  I never expected they would cut down those trees as part of the “revitalization.”  Was there no other alternative? Why did I feel so dazed, sad, angry?  Why should I care about a few trees chopped down amongst parking lots, roads, and roofs.  Did I suffer from some green affliction or forest nostalgia?  In fact, I was suffering from something only recently defined called “ecological grief” -  grief felt in relation to experienced or anticipated ecological losses, including the loss of species, ecosystems, and meaningful landscapes due to acute or chronic environmental change. 
There is some solace in knowing that what I was feeling was legitimate and shared by others that witness changes on the land and even in their home town.  I’ve chosen to speak up about my grief to stimulate conversation among the community.  I’m sorry I didn’t speak up sooner during the park’s planning stage and perhaps I could have spoken for the trees – what they mean to me, to my community, to my granddaughter who gazed up into their towering canopy.  Those trees germinated long before Woodinville was a city. Perhaps, new trees will be planted in the park that will one day inspire my granddaughter’s granddaughter.  But until then, let’s treasure the gems of our city, speak up about what we value, and limit ecological grief manifested in lost places, experiences, and culture.  Let’s not hope for the best or make the best of it, but rather do our best to produce a community with desirable human-nature relationships that are our identity. And there is much work to be done.
Ronda Strauch, Woodinville

Letters to the Editor - 4/30/18

  • Written by Readers
Our city deserves to be shared with the world! Hosting a young student from China during the summer is the best time to amaze them by being able to look up into clear clean air as the hot air balloons float through the sky. We can make memories to last a lifetime with simple activities such as picking blackberries from our backyard or attending a Summer Concert in the Park.
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Letters to the Editor - 4/23/18

  • Written by Readers
Thank you for your thoughtful and accurate reporting addressing land use code violations on the Mathews Winery property on 140th PL NE in the April 16th edition.
This property is one of six properties that currently have land use code violation notices from King County.  All are located in unincorporated King County and all of are aware of their code violations.  As is the case with the Mathews property, all of the violators have signed settlement agreements whereby they agreed not to expand their business operation during the period where King County would study the issue.
Mathews is one of the more flagrant violators in-so-much as they have added more structures in the form of permanent tent structures, outbuildings, additional lawn and seating areas, and additional parking.  They now have a B & B facility, have scheduled more frequent events and have greatly expanded their web presence in advertising as a venue for corporate parties, weddings and the such.
Because the County has not enforced their own zoning code regulations, all of this added activity has developed without permit review.  No traffic impact studies or traffic safety mitigation.
The core challenge is that King County has failed to enforce their own zoning and land use codes.  There is little doubt that people enjoy drinking wine and partaking in the open-air experience and beauty of the Sammamish Valley.  The challenge is that the property is not zoned for such activities.  The larger challenge is that if King County fails to enforce local land use codes on rural zoned property, how are we to expect them to enforce land use violations on agricultural properties, which everyone seems to agree should be protected.
The local wine community reports that there are more than 120 wineries, distilleries, and tasting rooms in the greater Woodinville area, with nearly all of them located within the City limits.  Only six are violator properties.  There are plenty of legitimate wine related businesses that are providing “an experience we can all be proud of.”
Thomas Quigley
Sammamish Valley Alliance