July 12, 1999
New county rules protect trees, slopes in Kenmore, Holmes Point area
The Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously adopted development conditions that are specifically tailored to protect sensitive properties in the Holmes Point area north of Kirkland.
"We cannot allow a one-size-fits-all approach to development in and around Holmes Point," said Councilmember Jane Hague, who represents the area. "Slides and erosion have washed out roads, damaged homes, and silted salmon-bearing streams.
"The western slope of Finn Hill requires special attention," she added. "In a single concentrated area, there are thickly forested slopes, many ravines with streams, and significant habitat for salmon and eagles. And, it is also the largest continuous greenbelt remaining on the shoreline of Lake Washington."
The ordinance adopted today:
The area also includes three large connecting parks that are regional attractions. In addition to the 600-plus acres of natural areas and open space inside Big Finn Hill Park, O.O. Denny Park, and St. Edward's State Park, the Holmes Point Planning Area includes more than 650 underdeveloped acres on state and privately owned land. Overall, the ordinance affects approximately 1,100 property owners.
- Creates special development conditions to minimize site disturbance on specific properties that were formerly covered by a Special District Overlay that dealt only with tree retention;
- Clarifies the definition of what classifies as a "significant tree;"
- Allows densities in the Holmes Point area to be transferred to other areas of the county.