Northwest NEWS

February 15, 1999

Editorial

Kenmore needs to take a more creative approach to LakePointe traffic

   We wish to comment again on the appeal of a commercial site development permit for the LakePointe development in Kenmore, which has been covered several times in the Northlake News.

   A recent City of Kenmore newsletter stated that most of the appeal was denied by the hearing examiner. The hearing decision put it differently: "The appeal is granted in part... The appeal is denied in part."

   The hearing examiner's conclusions from the appeal also end with this rather scathing reprimand of the county: "It is unfortunate that the county elects not to attempt mitigation when there is a clear opportunity and authority to do so... Perhaps the City of Kenmore will adopt ordinances that require mitigation of significant impacts or select personnel that will be more aggressive in identification of mitigation measures.

   "Common sense suggests that the addition of 12,700 vehicle trips per day would require a more creative approach in mitigation of traffic impacts than that shown by the county. The county demonstrates no initiative or creativity in attempting to address a serious traffic problem in the Kenmore area.

   "Instead, it uses a 'bureaucratic analysis' approach to reach a conclusion that there 'is nothing more that can be done' to address traffic problems... The county transportation planners do have the authority to explore creative mitigation, but they appear to be unwilling or afraid to use it to help solve traffic problems in the area."

   The hearing examiner granted the LakePointe appeal on two accounts: He ordered re-examination by the county of both the unfunded improvements to the critical roadway on 68th Avenue NE, as well as exemption from county standards for the new intersection to be built at LakePointe Way and 68th Avenue NE. Both these locations are predicted to operate below minimum standards with the addition of traffic from LakePointe.

   The county made the response directed by the hearing examiner to Kenmore because Kenmore inherited the responsibility for Lakepointe decisions upon becoming a city. The county's response amounted to a reiteration of their permit approvals for LakePointe.

   Now, the City of Kenmore has issued its decision reaffirming the county's permit approvals. They do not appear to be following the hearing examiner's advice to be more creative than the county with LakePointe traffic issues.

   We would be glad to talk with anyone interested in preventing further crowding of the already congested Kenmore streets by LakePointe's residents and customers making over 12,000 added vehicle trips daily.

Dan & Bonnie Olsen, Kenmore, via e-mail