County says no to new nets at Redwood
by Jeff Switzer
A King County zoning adjustor denied a proposal last month which would have allowed the Redwood Golf Driving Range to add more netting and new, taller poles to their site.
"I find placing 50- and 75-foot-high poles 25 feet apart will create the appearance of a wall in the valley," said Zoning Adjustor Gary Kohler.
The driving range currently has 50-foot netting supported by 50-foot wooden poles, as per the original conditional use permit (CUP) granted by the county in 1987. The maximum allowed under that CUP was 50 feet. The proposal would have allowed netting up to 75 feet, supported by additional 75-foot, 16-inch diameter steel poles placed between the existing wooden poles.
Kohler agreed with opponents to the proposal that "the expansion as proposed is not compatible with the agricultural and rural character of the surrounding area." The decision cited several applicable policies relating to building in the Agricultural Production District (APD), noting that "new recreational facilities shall not be permitted within the APD" as per Northshore Plan Policy A-4.
"Agriculture should be the principal land use in the APDs," as per policy RL-302; and "active recreational facilities should not be located within APDs," as per policy RL-308, though that policy continues. "When new parks or trails are planned for areas within or adjacent to APDs, King County should work with farmers to minimize impacts to farmland and agricultural operations."