APRIL 14, 1997

 woodinville.com : your home town on the world wide web

Opinion

County is inaccurate on Ring Hill tower

Ring Hill tower Re: a 300-foot communications tower proposed for Ring Hill (Mar. 31):
   A couple of new points on this topic may be of interest. King County officials with the Land Use Division have had this location for a 300-foot-tall tower with radio dishes, flashing strobe lights, and plans to lease out space on the tower for commercial dishes for over three years. The last record for this property was when the landfill was closed. County records indicated at that time there could be no development for 30 years. Apparently King County changed its mind on the Land Use decisions for no development for 30 years. However, there has been no public notice of the intent to change the 30-year prohibiton on developing the old landfill.
   The county is silent on explaining what steps they went through to repeal or amend the 30-year prohibition. They skipped this and moved ahead with filing notice of intent to place a radio tower on the landfill. The next problem is they filed this with inaccurate data. The county on their Notice of Application referred to the project location as: Duvall Landfill, Duvall, WA. This error misled county residents of Woodinville. The landfill is in Woodinville, it has a Woodinville postal zip, and it is not located in Duvall.
   A county representative indicated verbally that despite the error in their posting calling this a Duvall site, they mailed notices to landowners in the area around the site of the proposed tower. This is not accurate either. This area in the shadow of the proposed tower is developed with high-end homes that generate more than $6 million in annual property taxes. Homeowners in this area were not notified by the county. I live four lots from this proposed tower and have not received any notice from the county. I have attended a public meeting on this topic and even signed my name and address to be placed on their mailing list and still have not been notified by the county.
   One starts to wonder who our county officials are accountable to. If a private business tried these tactics--intentionally or through clerical oversight--they would be held to a high level of accountability. Yet the county is able to make these errors and we seem to have no similar checks and balances and no accountability to correct the errors. Makes for an interesting civics lesson.

Michele Kemper, 20-year resident of Woodinville