Northwest NEWS

December 13, 1999

Editorial

APD designation needs thorough analysis

Re: DNS notice for concession contract for recreational facility, South Gateway Rec. and Ag project--After having skimmed, in a limited time period, the material at the Woodinville Library on the above, I have the following comments:

   While sports are sorely needed in King County, nevertheless, it is important that all environmental regulatory controls be observed and enforced. In this instance, it's even more important, because of its controversial nature and the sharp eyes that will be turned on it.

   It could and should be a demonstration project for the efficacy of the Executive's proposed new clearing and grading code as spelled out in the December 1999 version of the "New Site Alterations Code" and its accompanying "Companion Ordinance to Implement (the above)". It should be noted that the project, because of the amount of "pollution-generating impervious surface," plus its "pollution-generating pervious surface" (which includes the grass areas of sports fields), comes under current as well as proposed C&G and drainage requirements:

   a. Under Surface Water Design Manual's Core Requirement #3, "flow control facilities" must be provided. (On a 1995 SWM chart, a cost of over $14,000 was listed as the cost of flow control facilities for urban-size lots. Rural land owners will be following the costs for flow control on the sports fields as a guide to what they face when they apply for a C&G permit to clear land for pastures or crops.)

   b. Under Code Chapter 16.0020 (grading standards), where the duff layer and native top soil have been "disturbed," as mitigation, there are soil amendment requirements for retention of the soil moisture-holding capacity of the original undisturbed soil. Between May 1 and October 1, the soil must be tilled to a minimum depth of 8 inches to incorporate compost to form topsoil layer with an organic matter content from 8 to 13% dry weight, and a pH from 6.0 to 8.0, or matching the pH of the original undisturbed soil. (That, too, rural land owners will be following as to cost and practicability.)

   The DNS was cognizant of yet-to-come wet-season analysis of a stream, significant wetlands (including those that have been ditched and drained, but which, it should be noted, have been unmaintained for longer than 5 years), and the 100-year flood plain, as well as seismic hazards. Again, rural land owners will be watching to assure that the "fragile Sammamish Valley" is as well-protected as is private land by the county's regulatory land use controls.

   Under the Comprehensive Plan Designation section of the DNS, there was no mention of the Fire District property's being designated as a part of the Agricultural Production District, and thus subject to many more controls than those accompanying its Rural Area zoning of RA-2.5. (That's why the Fire District walked away from trying to build a fire station there.)

   The APD designation needs thorough analysis.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville