Northwest NEWS

September 14, 1998

Front Page

Chamber appealing Park & Ride

   by Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor

  
   DUVALL--Business owners here are appealing a Metro Park & Ride planned for a vacant lot adjacent to the Woodinville-Duvall Bridge.
  
   The lot is owned by the city and is currently used for limited parking by businesses north of the bridge. The city has asked Metro to develop a Park & Ride on the property, but at a council meeting in May, a Metro spokesman said a Metro lot would be for bus customers only, thus eliminating any general parking.
  
   Trailhead parking on the weekends would be the only other use allowed, the spokesman said.
  
   The business owners objected, so at a council meeting last month, City Director Jim Bourasa said that because of the unresolved issues he recommended the city sell the land.
   But since the Park & Ride plans are continuing, last week's Chamber of Commerce meeting focused on the issue. Chuck Whitfield of Whitfield's Insurance told members the project is not consistent with their goals.
  
   "Our main goal is to maintain and enhance the downtown core," he said. "We want to focus on economic development and expanding business."
  
   He said the feeling is that the Park & Ride would limit the future of the area and take away the parking at the north end of town.
  
   Many business owners want the traffic flow to also go under the bridge, saying they are concerned with what a Park & Ride might do to congestion on SR-203.
  
   As a result of their concerns, he said, the Chamber of Commerce has decided to join forces with the businesses affected and appeal the SEPA permit for the Park & Ride.
  
   "Our attorney did find some things that are in violation...one of them is that a Park & Ride is not a permitted use. It would require a conditional use permit," Whitfield said.
  
   Klev Shoening, representing Skywest, Inc. of Kenmore, owner of the land just south of the bridge, has drawn up alternative plans for a general parking lot. But the city says the cost would be too high.
  
   "Finances may be the whole issue," Schoening said. "I would like to see a professional traffic study done and get a Capital Improvement Plan. There is grant potential here. The other option is an LID and assess ourselves for the improvements."
  
   But Ray Burhen said the issue is a larger one.
  
   "People move here in part for the charisma of the old town," he said. "A citywide LID could help improve parking, transportation and leave the charm of the corridor intact."
  
   Business owners here are appealing a Metro Park & Ride planned for a vacant lot adjacent to the Woodinville-Duvall Bridge. The lot is owned by the city and is currently used for limited parking by businesses north of the bridge. The city has asked Metro to develop a Park & Ride on the property, but at a council meeting in May, a Metro spokesman said a Metro lot would be for bus customers only, thus eliminating any general parking.