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Woodinville planners seek input on housing, jobs, transportation and more

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, News Writer

Woodinville needs to find room for more than 2,000 more housing units and 4,000 more jobs in the next 20 years, according to state and county growth targets.

The city held a public meeting on Nov. 13 to discuss updating the Comprehensive Plan, which guides development and growth in Woodinville over a 20-year period. Although few members of the public attended, the city staff, members of the planning commission, and consultants working on updating the Comprehensive Plan began discussing housing, jobs, transportation and the city’s Vision Statement.

Citizens can still give their input by filling out the survey found at ci.woodinville.wa.us.

"In the year 2015, Woodinville is a safe, friendly, family-oriented community that supports a successful balance of neighborhoods, parks and recreation, tourism, and business," the current statement, which was written around 2000, reads. "We have preserved our Northwest woodland character, our open space, and our clean environment. We have enhanced our ability to move freely throughout the community by all modes of travel. Woodinville is a pleasant place in which to live, work, play, and visit, with a compact, inviting downtown that is attractive and functional."

What parts of the vision statement has Woodinville already accomplished? What goals should the city keep working on? Which parts aren’t important anymore?

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Trolley service would use existing tracks to connect wineries and downtown

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, News Writer

Trolley CarCourtesy Photo. The City Council discussed buying a trolley car that would run between wineries in the southern tourist district and the northern warehouse district, as well as downtown. Although the auction for this trolley car closes too soon for the city to take action, several council members said the city should keep looking for a similar trolley car. A 1920s trolley car that Woodinville could use to connect its wine districts with downtown is up for auction at a low price, but it’s probably too late to purchase it, council members agreed at last week’s City Council meeting. Still, several council members said the city should keep trying to start a trolley service within the city.

The starting bid for the trolley car is $179,000 – a good bargain compared to the $550,000 that the Issaquah Historical Society spent to buy and refurbish a similar trolley car, said Councilmember Les Rubstello. But the deadline for the auction is Nov. 20.

"There’s a lot of loose ends, admittedly," Rubstello said. "Who’s going to operate it? Where’s it going to be stored? Who’s going to maintain it? Do we have agreements yet with King County to run on their rails? No. Do we have agreements yet with the Eastside Community Rail to run on their rails? No. None of those things are in place."

Because the auction is so soon, he didn’t suggest Woodinville bid on the trolley car, but he proposed that the city try to buy a similar car soon to start a trolley service on Woodinville’s existing tracks, which run between the southern wine tourism district, downtown Woodinville and northern wine warehouse district.

Rubstello said when he was on the planning commission, businesses in downtown complained that the city devoted all its resources to businesses in the tourist district. A trolley would alleviate that problem by connecting both tourist districts with the central business district.

"Early on, when we talked about this years ago, it was just more pie in the sky," Councilmember Scott Hageman said. "But now that there’s such a huge amount of customer traffic in the tourist area, and we’re still talking about it, how do we get them up here to the CBD? How do we get that circulation mix that we all want to see?"

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Woodinville organizations speak out on labeling genetically engineered foods

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, News Writer

The campaign to label genetically engineered foods is over — at least for this year — after the Yes on 522 campaign conceded Thursday. As of Friday, the initiative was losing with 48.7 percent of the state voting yes and 51.3 percent voting no.

But several Woodinville agriculture organizations believe it’s a matter of time before voters will pass a law requiring genetically engineered food to be labeled as such.

According to information from the Washington Secretary of State’s Office, the ballot measure would have required raw agricultural products, processed foods and seeds offered for retail sale to be labeled if they were genetically engineered. "Genetically engineered" is defined as changes to genetic material through techniques that directly insert DNA or RNA or overcome natural barriers to cell multiplication.

Some foods would have been exempt from the law: alcoholic beverages, certified organic foods, foods served in restaurants, medical foods, foods containing non-genetically engineered animal products (even if the animal had consumed genetically engineered foods) and foods processed using genetically engineered processing aids or enzymes.

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Lane Closure

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The Snohomish County Department ofPublic Works advises motorists in th Woodinville area of the single lane closure on SS Ave SE.

This lane closure will be from November 22 - December 6 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. COMCAST/SEFNCO Communications has been granted permission to close one lane of traffic in the 1500 block of S5 Ave SE to install CATV service.

Talmas wins City Council seat; Knapinski leads Water District race

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, News Writer

  

This year’s elections for Woodinville City Council and Woodinville Water District were both close races.

Incumbent Mayor Bernie Talmas defeated Brad Walker for Woodinville City Council position 7, with Talmas earning 56 percent of 2,296 votes cast.

The Water District Commissioner race is still almost too close to call. As of Friday night, Dale Knapinski was in the lead with 50.71 percent of the vote, compared to 49.21 percent for incumbent Rick Chatterton, who was appointed to the Commission earlier this year.

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