I wrote almost a year ago that you cannot leave Woodinville unless you are dead, and now I read that we need to build 2,300 houses in the next years. My experience has been — home developers keep dropping out of contracts with my husband and myself because Woodinville adds on more and more expenses as time moves on, so that yet again, for the fifth time, we are unable to sell our land. Thank you Woodinville for not meeting your house quota. I’m sure King County will start wondering after a while why no one can build a house here, or sell land. Obviously our Building Department is beset by the factors of turning rural land or country land immediately into gridded boredom. And why do we need sidewalks on both sides of the street? This isn’t a densely populated New York, it’s just Woodinville, where anyone can cross a street to use a sidewalk.
It burns me up because I’m ill and probably won’t be able to move after too much longer, anyway. But that is of no interest to anyone here in my community. No, the human factor obviously plays no part when concerted individuals are mad to cut down trees and lay sidewalks and playing fields. Or, perhaps D.R. Horton is the only builder recognized, all others be damned. I would like to know why I can’t sell 2.9 acres of beautiful landscaping and move on to retirement? Woodinville isn’t a community, it’s a vise grip.
Nancy Snyder, Woodinville
SHOPPERS OUTSIDE WOODINVILLE
Regarding the remarks Boundy-Sanders said, the people from outside the city, such as myself, it helps Woodinville’s tax base and the visitors as well.
This is the third time Boundy-Sanders has put her foot in her mouth that I recall. Twice she’s come back and apologized for remarks and I hope she does the same now.
Personally I don’t feel she’s an asset to the City Council.
I strictly shop Woodinville but there may be those that think, “to heck with it,” and drive to Redmond.
Pauline L. Thompson, Woodinville
BOWLING AND SPECIAL NEEDS
The syndicated “Ask Amy” column on July 1 elegantly put “Bowled-Over by PC-ness” who wished to exclude individuals with special needs from their bowling league, neatly in their place. As someone who has personal experience with this exact situation in our own city (Woodinville), I wanted to provide a much needed perspective.
In high school, my younger brother with special needs joined my bowling team and I observed the power of inclusion again, both for him, and for those who got to bowl next to him. I love watching him bowl, not just because he is a legitimately skilled and consistent bowler with a strong sense of justice and observance of the rules – but because he has fun and, as everyone knows, fun is infectious.
My brother is passionate about bowling. He is a better bowler than almost anyone I know because he has worked hard at it. He and his friends with special needs have continued to invest in bowling leagues, lessons and recreational bowling since they met on the bowling team in high school. These connections have led to a lot of personal growth: they are now roommates living independently in their own place (something we were not sure they would be able to do), they learned to take public transportation by taking the bus to get to bowling practice and games and they learned to be responsible by respecting their teammates and never missed a single game for transportation or scheduling conflicts.
All of the moral implications and my personal experience aside, I know bowling to be a fun sport and a great equalizer; bowling has very few hard rules that preclude non-skilled bowlers from participating with skilled bowlers. In fact, bowling involves only a handful of basic rules and already allows its participants to take turns and participate as individuals. There is no logical reason to exclude individuals based on physical or cognitive limitations.
Interacting with peers regardless of cognitive or physical ability is important for the self-worth and social development of all people, and not just those with special needs.
Rachel Ullstrom, Woodinville
SAMMAMISH VALLEY AGRICULTURE
Mike Tanksley’s letter to the editor of July 13 outlines the challenge and consequence of growth here in the Sammamish Valley. The burgeoning wine and spirits industry in Washington state has created a mad dash to locate the perfect tasting room in the heart of Woodinville Wine Country. And in the rush, some business owners have sought shortcuts by locating their tasting rooms where not permitted by code, by lack of research or by sheer intent. And Mr. Tanksley is correct that King County has, until recently, turned a blind eye to the issue.
When tasting rooms attempt to locate in rural areas of King County they are often willing to pay a premium price for the location. Because King County has failed to monitor these business openings, no permit process has taken place. No traffic impact studies, no health department reviews, no building or fire permit reviews, no traffic impact mitigation fees. These tasting rooms want to be in close proximity to legitimate businesses but are not willing to participate in due process.
Another outcome of not restricting certain businesses from locating in rural areas is that their tenancy precludes a rural resident from occupying the property. When a much higher price is paid than for other similar rural properties, it eliminates the opportunity for a rural homeowner, farmer or home occupied business owner from purchasing it at fair market value and drives up the cost of rural lands.
The rural lands that abut our beautiful Sammamish Valley are key to the preservation of the agricultural lands. They provide a buffer in the form of parcels where people can live and operate a tractor business or open a fruit stand or a host of other permitted rural land uses. These rural parcels are a “softening” of land-use so that we don’t have non-rural businesses right up against the agriculture lands. If we are to enjoy the bounty of our ag lands, we must be diligent in adhering to zoning regulations in order to protect that which we all love about this place.
Tom Quigley, Woodinville