Northwest NEWS

June 22, 1998

Editorial

When will the favoritism and cheating for developers stop?

   Just when we thought we had seen the worst examples of fraud and bias the county could commit for developers, including massive cheating and manipulation of traffic concurrency tests for Blakely Ridge and Redmond Ridge, we have now learned that the gang of four - Hague, Vance, McKenna, and Miller - are about to engage in an all out effort to lower developer impact fees even further. Impact fees are those costs paid by developers in the form of mitigations to cover the costs of their developments' impacts on infrastructure - like roads and schools.
  
   In a June 3 letter from King County's traffic planners, we have been notified that the impact fees for Weyerhauser's Redmond Ridge and Port Blakely Communities' Blakely Ridge have not been finalized yet. If the "gang of four" is successful in lowering the already ridiculously low mitigation fees developers pay now, they will more than likely further reduce the already absurdly low fees established now to be paid by the developers of these new cities. Dollars that right now fund minimal road improvements that we can prove will leave the area in gridlock.
  
   Add this to the fraud already committed and documented that county traffic planners cheated massively to pass the traffic concurrency analysis for these projects in 1995, and even more recently just last month, and it indicates that there are apparently no limits to what King County will do to pass the costs of growth onto the taxpayers and minimize the costs these developers have to pay for their cities' impacts.
  
   When will the favoritism and cheating for developers stop?
   Michael Costello, Redmond