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JULY 21, 1997


Is the City of Woodinville reinventing the wheel?

  Is the City of Woodinville reinventing the wheel when bringing up the (old) subject of relocating the Hollywood Schoolhouse stream "to its historic"? That subject was flogged to death several years ago, with the Little League people who lease the ballfields through which the historic path once ran saying over their dead bodies would that creek water be re-sent through their already too-wet fields.
   And since then Art Yeoman sold his also-affected acreage to Barbara Kelson for her Gilman Village-type development. Barbara's arduous permit process would undoubtedly founder with the added complication of a protected creek routed through her property.
   As to the creek's complicating future widening of 148th, during the current process of working on the channel in its present location east of 148th, why not figure how far east the stream would have to move for the widening and put it there now? It would be much cheaper to purchase a somewhat wider strip on the east side of 148th than condemn an entirely new path through the properties on the west side. (While the dreamers are at it, why don't they also remeander the oxbows in the Sammamish River and restore the hills to Seattle's Denny Regrade, which were shoved into Elliot Bay years ago.)
   . . . On the different subject of private business's furnishing recreation space for their employees "and others," the City should back off entirely. That should be strictly between a business and its employees. The public has no right on private property unless, like the wineries, the owners want the public to be there. (Or, in the case of Ste. Michelle, the owner is also receiving tax benefits for providing public access.)
   There are security and privacy considerations involved in forcing public recreation onto private property, as well as property rights issues. The city should either use incentives or buy its public benefits.
   Maxine Keesling