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JULY 28, 1997

Opinion

Don't Trust Developers - All They See is Dollar Signs

  Good faith, honesty, fairness - three attributes totally lacking today in the development drive to squeeze every last dollar out of King County's quality of life, and also completely absent in monster development companies like Port Blakely Communities.
  
   These backers of Blakely Ridge have been given a rezone to build high density housing on Novelty Hill, in a rural forest with no existing urbanization or infrastructure. The project was opposed by the community and the city of Redmond, and violates the intent of the Growth Management Act.
  
   During the public hearings, Blakely Ridge project manager John Adams testified that "no ground water is proposed to be withdrawn for use by this project." But at the same time he was swearing not to use the groundwater, Blakely had a request pending at the State's Department of Ecology to grant their projects permits to pump groundwater from Novelty Hill's aquifers. The State denied that request, so Blakely appealed the decision to the Pollution Control Hearing Board (PCHB), and they lost again.
  
   Adams and his company still refused to take 'no' for an answer, so - very quietly last March - they filed a lawsuit against the PCHB in Thurston County. So much for sworn testimony and their promises not to use groundwater.
  
   Adam's lies helped to guarantee Blakely their permits in King County. Will the Council reconsider those permits if Blakely Ridge prevails and goes ahead with their plans to drain our wells to water their golf course? Or. . . was this the strategy of the County and their developer supporters from the start?
  
   Michael Costello, Redmond