Northwest NEWS

April 3, 2000

Front Page

Residents attack quarry proposal

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   DUVALL--A 9-year-old boy captured the essence of the evening.

   "Please put these changes in the 'to-be-built quarry,'" said Duvall resident Isaac Bond. "No hurting nature ... and no destruction of the hillside."

   With his brief statements, young Issac summed up what almost 30 residents had said previously during the March 27 SEPA scoping hearing on the Duvall Rock Quarry.

   Although the session was a workshop scheduled by the county to gather input from the public on what issues should be studied for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) required for the proposal, most residents made it clear how they felt--that the pristine location, surrounded by residential and agricultural land, is no place for a quarry.

   The 83-acre quarry site is a couple of miles north of Duvall. Rock removal activity would eventually alter Cherry and Hanstead Creeks and McCauley Falls, visible from the highway.

   Huckell/Weinman Associates will prepare the EIS. Preliminary issues that will be addressed include air quality, erosion hazards, drainage, noise, transportation impacts, aesthetics, and land use-compatibility with King County Codes and regulations and other surrounding uses. Plans are to work the quarry for 60 or so years. Extensive mitigation measures are planned and include replacing wetlands.

   But residents said they could not imagine why, when they are prevented from altering wetlands, that one landowner could be allowed to disturb such a vast area, home to endangered fish and wildlife.

   "How can they reproduce with a manmade habitat what nature made, especially when there are so many restrictions on our land?" asked Clarise Mahler, president of Friends of Cherry Valley, a group opposing the quarry. "It makes no sense that they could be allowed to do that. There are salmon in those streams. How will it affect our safety, health, and well-being?"

   Kate Brougham, a teacher, remarked on how few precious places are left in East King County. "Everything is paved over," she said. "This will destroy a waterfall. How can we countenance destruction of a hillside ... and across from a school? Who is going to hold them accountable for their promises (of reclamation) after we are all dead? These precious resources can never be replaced."

   Carnation resident Patty Atkins said she lives about 1/2 mile from a small closed quarry. "It's a blight," she said. "It is an eyesore, and I feel that is what would end up happening here, but it would be worse, because it is more pristine and the damage would last forever."

   Kristin Avery of Duvall emphasized that the area is a "wildlife corridor, with feline, canine, and avian activity. Cherry Creek is a documented habitat. There is a need for spawning surveys and a wetlands inventory. The hydrology is not yet understood at the site."

   Avery said information is needed on where the seasonal flows will go when the stream is rerouted. "Because of the loss of springs, new flow rates will have to be calculated," she said.

   Helen Lashway, who has lived above the quarry site for 30 years, said the narrow road used by residents there would be no longer be safe for kids to walk or ride horses or bicycles on if it is used by quarry developers to move equipment and that they will "be destroying a wetland to access the quarry site. I object to one set of rules for us and a more permissive set of rules for the quarry people."

   Maryanne Hinzman, vice chair of the Snoqualmie Tribe, offered the tribe's help in opposing the quarry. "McCauley Falls is sacred to our people," she said. "There were village sites all up and down the river. The Valley is our home."

   SEPA planner Fereshteh Dekhorki said the draft EIS is expected to be completed in about six months. It will be followed by a 45-day public comment period.