Northwest NEWS

August 30, 1999

Valley Special

Access to Stonecrofte will be through Bird Street

by Audrey Mintz, contributing writer

   DUVALL--The City Council last week unanimously passed the proposed Stonecrofte Preliminary Plat, with access through Bird Street.

   Dozens of Bird Street residents voiced their concerns regarding the widening of Bird Street which is included in the Stonecrofte Preliminary Plat.

   "Show that you do care about the environment and children's safety," said Patty Beier, a Bird Street resident, who, along with other residents, offered an alternative design of the road connecting Bird Street to Stonecrofte.

   "As a registered landscape architect, I'd like to offer alternative access to Stonecrofte," said Jason Walker, citing the safety of children, the effects of increased traffic, and the impact on property due to street widening as the reasons for the council to reconsider the Bird Street access to the proposed development.

   "A solution would be to designate the roadway for emergency vehicles only and use grass pavement," Walker said. "The grass pavement is 98 percent permeable and has a higher life expectancy than asphalt."

   Additional concerns regarding the Fish and Wildlife recommending a 100-foot buffer around the salmon-bearing stream bordering the proposed development, rather than the 50-foot enhanced buffer included in the plat were addressed by Kurt Beardslee of Washington Trout.

   "This will degrade the quality of the fish habitat," said Beardslee, recommending the council vote in favor of the Fish and Wildlife recommendation of the 100-foot buffer. "Salmon degradation is not caused by one corporation, but by the cumulative effect of individual projects not meeting the absolute minimum that science can identify."

   The council passed the Stonecrofte Preliminary Plat with the 50-foot enhanced buffer and a half-street widening improvements on Bird Street. "We need these interior roads to connect," said Mayor Glen Kuntz, explaining the council's decision. "It's what's best for the city."

   Councilmember Pat Fullmer explained that the stream not being protected by a 100-foot buffer elsewhere along the stream is "reason enough to allow the 50-foot enhanced buffer."

   Councilmember Tom Loutsis added that the property owner is doing everything to code. "We have to approve the city's code," he said.

   In other council business, the public hearing on the building moratorium generated comments from at least one who requested an exemption and a developer who complained of frustration and asked for a technical analysis.