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September 22, 1997


There have been two recent court rulings on agricultural lands that affect the Woodinville fire department's rural-zoned site on the south edge of downtown Woodinville.

  Both rulings hold that being within ag production districts does not mean ag use only when circumstances indicate otherwise. And in both instances we're talking ag-zoned land, not rural-zoned land on which fire stations are allowed as a conditional use.
   As a result of the most recent ruling, for a landowner in the Kent/Auburn area, I heard the landowner is suing King County for $3,000,000 in damages for a temporary taking.
   It occurs to me the fire department - and the City of Woodinville - are suffering the damage of being unable to build a fire station needed to correct the currently unsatisfactory response time for emergencies in the downtown and south Woodinville areas, and that a lawsuit against King County might be in order.
   But first the fire district must exhaust all its administrative remedies, including applying for a conditional use permit for the fire station, as authorized in county code.
   If the permit is denied, the fire district can sue. If it's approved, go ahead and build and let bygones be bygones.
   But the fire district should be doing something other than sitting on its hands. (And listening to the Hollywood Hill Association??)
   Maxine Keesling
   Charter member of the
   Hollywood Hill Association