Northwest NEWS

October 19, 1998

Local News

Woodinville council protects trees

Also declares wireless moratorium, finalizes noise ordinance

   by Woodinville Weekly staff
   WOODINVILLE--The Woodinville City Council protected trees, declared a moratorium on cell towers and implemented noise restrictions all on one busy night last week.
   Bigger Douglas firs, maples and every other tree earned a measure of protection from clearcut-minded property owners when the council approved regulations that allow only a handful of trees to be cut over any twelve-month period without a permit.
   Councilwoman Marsha Engel was "delighted" by the new regs, which, among other things, also require developers to file tree retention plans at the earliest stages of projects.
   Under the approved ordinance, those landowners wanting to cut down more than five trees over eight-inches in diameter at four-feet high would need a grading permit. That means they'd come down to City Hall, present their plans and possibly pay a fee. Though a fee schedule had yet to be worked out, Engel and Councilwoman Carol Bogue both thought it should be a no-cost permit.
   While Councilmen Bob Miller and Randy Ransom supported the regulations, they had wanted to exempt single-family residences.
   Clauses allow unhealthy and danger trees to be taken down.
   Engel said there has been "wonderful and surprising community support for this ordinance." She said that Redmond is looking at a similar plan.
   Noise, wireless issues pass
   With few changes, the council passed Woodinville's first noise ordinance. Police say it will give them a "tool" to deal with those with little regard for their neighbors and the rest of the citizenry.
   Following a request from developer Shannon Underwood, Mayor Don Brocha amended construction hours to exempt work being done as late as 9 p.m. Monday through Friday between May 1 and Oct. 1.
   Though Ransom seconded Brocha's proposal, he moved that the exemption begin on Memorial Day and end on Labor Day after Engel expressed concern. Ransom's amendment passed.
   The rest of the year, construction hours will be exempted from noise regulations between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends.
   The council also suspended their rules of procedure for the second time in two weeks, and approved a six-month moratorium on wireless communications facilities.
   A public hearing will be held in 60 days. The city hopes to bring old code up to date with the Telecommunications Act of 1996.