November 23, 1998
To most people, traffic congestion is fairly easy to recognize--too many cars in too little space. However, those attending the hearing for the appeal filed on the LakePointe project heard more complex analyses and equations to determine traffic impact and related transportation issues.
Kenmore resident Dan Olsen filed the appeal in August to bring attention to his concern about the impact of the LakePointe project on the community. At the hearing, Olsen restated the position he held at the time of the appeal, namely he is not opposed to LakePointe per se, but is troubled by the potential traffic impact he foresees.
Olsen came to the hearing with a display of photos graphically showing the congestion he has encountered at various times on streets around the proposed LakePointe site. He contends the project will likely make the situation untenable.
Christopher Brown of Brown and Associates, a traffic engineering consultant, faulted the county for not relying more on intersection traffic data as opposed to road-link only data in their traffic impact calculations. The appellant attorney maintained that the county "showed a pattern of manipulating facts to gain lowered traffic impact data in order to gain approval of the project." She maintained that the county did not factor in traffic volume on SR-522 Bothell Way in their estimates.
The LakePointe legal team with technical support from King County planning officials countered that, "LakePointe is probably one of the most mitigated projects in recent history." Attorney McCullough argued that weighing all the elements which go into consideration for a project this size, and that LakePointe received a score of .65, which is well below the acceptable criteria of .99.
Hearing examiner Ted Hunter complimented the attorneys on both sides for their succinct and articulate presentation of some very complex issues related to transportation impacts. He will be receiving final written arguments from both sides by Dec. 2 and plans to issue his decision by Dec. 11.
Olsen said after the hearing, "I'm satisfied that the system is working and that the appeal process was fair." He said he was optimistic that his side would prevail and that further review of the project would be required. He added that any Kenmore residents who would like to help in his legal costs or get additional information can contact him at 425-489-2641.