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OCTOBER 6, 1997


Save Novelty Hill

  After 8 or 9 years of being consistently ignored by King County officials who will do anything for the development lobby, four lawsuits now rest in the hands of judges outside of this county that might still save Novelty Hill. It took this long to move the issues outside of King County. County where leaders have consistently showed there bias, and favor towards builders who have been so successful in forming a county government that supports their every whim.
   We have an assortment of issues in play. We have King County ignoring vesting laws that created the '1 acre' excuse that has been the corner-stone of their efforts to rezone, and therefore increase the value of 2000+ acres of land owned by two of the state's largest developers. We have issues related to the GMA, and the county's efforts to subvert its intent, and defend their plans no matter the cost to our neighborhoods or the taxpayers.
   We have issues of bias, with at least one member of the Council, Chris Vance, refusing to remove himself from the Northridge vote afteradmitting to several citizens his pre-determination to vote for, and subsequently defend (from his position as Chair of the Growth Management Committee) the projects because the developers had threatened to sue the county if they didn't get their way.
   The largest issue though, may be one addressed in a federal lawsuit that argues that neighboring communities were denied their most basic right of due process - a simple guarantee that government will not impose on one's rights without citizens being given a chance to respond. We learned the hard way that when government is not accountable to the voters of a district, due process is only a myth.
   Michael Costello