JUNE 23, 1997
Thank you, Woodinville Weekly, for the alert on at least part of the City of Woodinville's new development regulations.
The city's proposal that "new commercial, office, and industrial development shall provide at least 5 percent of the site as recreation space for employees and others to a maximum of five acres" is a shocker.
It appears that Woodinville intends that the private sector shall provide the pocket parks that other jurisdictions provide as public services. To add insult to injury, the city will require site improvements "and other amenities as approved by the Planning Director."
Woodinville's requirements go far beyond what's required by King County, where no commercial development is required to provide onsite public recreation. How jolly, when an upscale country inn is forced to have the unwashed public mingling at the recreation area with those who are paying $200 a day for the privilege. Or how risky to have the unwashed public wandering around the premises of a Microsoft branch campus, or the premises of a warehouse-storage facilty.
Industry is as entitled to privacy and the right of exclusion as individuals in their own yards. For Woodinville to force private business to devote expensive commercial land to the public, or even to dictate to private business what kind of recreation to offer their employeers, is a huge yanking away of what's left of private property rights.
I can't go to the June 30th city council hearing on this, but I hope others will attend and set the council straight. Your backyards are next.
Note to the Editor: The proofreading gremlins got to the Woodinville Weekly during the process of printing my letter about development impact fees. The conclusion, after consideration of all the cumulative taxes paid on land, is that new development DOES pay its way.
Maxine Keesling, Woodinville