Northwest NEWS

June 14, 1999

Front Page

Upper Bear Creek Community Council organizes

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--Some twenty-two thousand residents of unincorporated Woodinville will gain organized representation to the King County Council. The Council is expected to approve formation of the Upper Bear Creek Community Council on Monday, June 14.

   "This group started with the Cottage Lake project," said Council Chair Louise Miller, who, as a resident of the affected area, has a unique perspective on its issues. Kent Pullen is the only other councilmember who lives in an unincorporated area, she said.

   The County passed legislation in 1995 providing for community councils, under the guidelines of the State Growth Management Act, which established borders for urban, rural, commercial and industrial, and agricultural zones.

   "A community council gives unincorporated areas representation with the County Council. They are consulted on various County projects in their area, like parks and roads. Our staff members go out and get positive or negative input from the council on various issues, and listen very carefully at their meetings," said Miller.

   Miller said several unincorporated councils have been operating very successfully for about three years. The five existing community councils include North Highlands in West Seattle; Greater Maple Valley; Four Creeks and West Hill, both near Renton; and Vashon-Maury Island.

   Most people in rural areas prefer remaining unincorporated, according to Miller. A rural designation prohibits any commercial, industrial, or high-density housing developments. The GMA stipulates that any area assigned to an incorporated city is required to be part of its urban density plan. In an urban zone, no property is allowed to exceed one acre. Rural property must be larger than five acres.