April 27, 1998

Opinion

Those who complain about favoritism are right

  Those who periodically complain about favoritism from King County officials for the two Novelty Hill master plan developments (MPDs) are right. In the beginning I applauded the concept of cluster development with preserved open space as an option that would provide free open space and cheaper development costs. Since those naive days I've watched small property owners adjoining the MPDs being down zoned to one home per five acres while the MPDs get not only bonus residential densities but also business and commercial zoning.
  
   Adjacent landowners applying for as little as a remodeling permit will trigger recording 65 percent of their land as preserved open space where even cutting brush for horse pasture is forbidden, even though only 51-57 percent of the MPDs will remain as open space. As to paying for traffic impacts, King County's road mitigation payment system (MPS) zone fees range from $21 per house in the lowest zone to $8,219 per house in the highest zone. Is it surprising that the highest fee zone adjoins the northern MPD? (The two MPDs' fees are $2,902/house and $5,317/house.
  
   The latest insult is the county's current draft of 1998 amendments to its comprehensive plan which calls for retaining the old Bear Creek community plan policies favoring the MPDs while discarding the policies encouraging equestrian-related business in the Bear Creek area, allowing pastures in open space, and providing additional athletic facilities and upgrading existing play fields in the Bear Creek planning area. Well, as you get older you get wiser.
   Maxine Keesling, Woodinville