JANUARY 6, 1997
County politicians don't honor promises
An initiative is circulating in King County to require a vote of citizens before the county can spend more than $50 million. I hope the initiative gets on the ballot and passes, because like many others, I no longer trust government. Here is an example why:
In 1989, the County Council downzoned all the little property owners in the Bear Creek area to rural 5-acre zoning. Simultaneously, the county upzoned the land for the Blakely Ridge and Northridge Urban Planned Developments (UPD). The county promised that if these two projects were not pursued, then the UPD site would also be zoned for rural 5-acre lots.
The County Council gave us their word by adopting this promise in the 1989 Bear Creek Community Plan, in the Countywide Planning Policies, and in the County Comprehensive Plan.
In the middle of 1995, the Northridge developer withdrew the eastern 460 acres from their application, since providing the full suite of urban services to this remote area was too costly. Even though the Northridge folks are no longer pursuing urban development on about 1/3 of their site, the County Council has failed to redesignate this area with rural 5-acre zoning.
Why should anyone trust county politicians when they cannot even honor a simple promise like this?
Joseph Elfelt, President, Friends of the Law, Redmond