Northwest NEWS

January 17, 2000

Local News

City Council votes to widen 133rd Ave. NE

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--Woodinville's City Council has voted 6-1 to widen 133rd Ave. NE to at least meet the minimum city arterial standard of 24 ft. A maximum widening to 36 feet would allow sidewalks and bike lanes.

   The extra footage will require dedication of some land from the new City Hall property. That will include removal of eight crowded fir trees that would not survive even minimal widening.

   Councilmember Carol Bogue, a former Tree Board member and the lone "no" vote, insisted that the Council must set an example by following new city standards that require developers to maintain a minimum number of native trees on developed land.

   Given the existing 24-foot right-of-way, the pavement would come within inches of the tree trunks, Public Works Director Mick Monken told the Council. Street construction would destroy the root system of all the trees, which would destabilize them and ruin their health, said Monken.

   Councilmembers Bob Miller and Marsha Engel summarized the consensus vote. Miller said he saw no point in minimally widening a street that's supposed to become a major arterial, the public access to City Hall. Miller also questioned the point of saving ugly, spindly trees that grew so close together that none have appreciable greenage on their trunks.

   Engel pointed out that the new tree regulations allowed for replacing removed trees by planting the required number, in cases involving trees that could not be saved.

   "I would much rather see beautifully symmetrical examples of native conifers, set a little further back from the road with enough growing space around them," said Engel. "We don't want them so close to the road that their roots will destroy it, like on 140th."

   The widening of the City Hall segment of 133rd, between NE 173rd and NE 175th, will coincide with City Hall construction, expected to end by Jan. 2001.