The Edwards Agency

Opinion

County could 'find' money to cure lake problems

Cottage Lake A recent perusal of government literature furnished the answers to some Cottage Lake questions.
   First, as to the name of the streams flowing from the north into Cottage Lake, a 1975 publication by the Washington Department of Fisheries says: "Cottage Lake Creek originates from Little Lake and Crystal Lake about 1.5 miles north of the Woodinville-Duvall Road, and joins Bear Creek at R.M. 4.85. It is known as Daniels Creek above Cottage Lake."
   As to the other stream running through the Cottage Lake shopping center, a county employee said it has a number, not a name.
   As to the lake's water quality, for which a 4,300-acre taxing district is proposed to fund the cures (which will have to be voted on by those to be taxed), and for which it is proposed that residential builders install phosphorus removal facilities estimated to cost $15,900 per home, there should be a preliminary action taken. Since Daniels Creek supplies 51% of the phosphorus runoff, which emanates from both the commercial stables and the decaying wetlands vegetation near the creek mouth, those problems should be cured.
   And then King County should "find" the money to cure the current lake situation, with the assumption that fixing Daniels Creek and possibly prohibiting the use of fertilizers near the lake will prevent future phosphorus buildup. (The county can "find" the money, just as it "found" $23 million to buy open space after the parks and open space bond proposal failed.)
   These actions, along with the fact that Cottage Lake's phosphorus buildup scenario was based on pre-growth-management modeling assumptions, could very likely solve the problem without hitting area residents.
   The other government literature I perused was the state's Shoreline Management Act, which pertains to use of shorelines, including Cottage Lake. To quote:
   "Increase public access to publicly owned areas of the shorelines: ... Alterations of the natural condition of the shorelines and shorelands of the state shall be recognized by the department [of Ecology] ... Alterations ... shall be given priority for ... shoreline recreational uses including but not limited to parks..."
   Add to that the fact that the Bear Creek Basin Plan's stream buffer requirements do not require restoration of altered land, then the county could, if it wished, just leave that no-name-just-a-number stream alone for use as-is. (As to grass being a conductor of silt and pollutants, then why does Surface Water Management require grass-lined swales for water runoff treatment, with even swale mowing being called for?)
   Needed new facilities could be built on the dry lands and the public could still use the lakeside lawns instead of being shoved to the west side in a tangle of boats, fishing, and swimming, while the rest of the waterfront is restored to native trees and brush.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville