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The Greater Maple Valley Area Council held its first regular monthly meeting of the new year on Jan. 6

The Greater Maple Valley Area Council held its first regular monthly meeting of the new year on Jan. 6 where the main subjects discussed were Metro Transit Service, the Covington master planned development, and a proposed regional stormwater retention facility.

Metro Transit Service

King County Metro Transit’s DeAnna Martin discussed bus transportation funding and proposed cuts at the meeting. Revenue from sales taxes, which provide approximately 60 percent of Metro Transit's funding, have fallen from pre-recession levels. Although fares have been raised approximately 80 percent over the past several years and costs have been cut, Metro Transit still faces a shortfall. As a result, Metro Transit is planning for service cuts of approximately 17 percent, absent any new funding.

With temporary funding authority from the state expiring in June, Metro Transit has planned for specific service reductions: 74 routes would be eliminated and 107 routes changed.

In our area Route 143 would have one less morning and afternoon commute peak-hour trips to and from Maple Valley.

Metro Transit plans to send a package of proposed service changes to the King County Council this Spring. If approved, the service changes will be phased in beginning this fall. The public will have an opportunity to provide comment to the King County Council before service changes are adopted. For more information visit metro.kingcounty.gov/am/future/.

Covington Master Planned Development

The Area Council discussed the City of Covington’s Final Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed 212-acre master planned development to be located between SR 18, SR 516, and Cedar Creek Park.

The Area Council’s Growth Management Committee summarized continuing concerns regarding traffic impacts that require additional consideration. These include gross deficiencies in handling traffic congestion along SR 516 and Kent-Kangley.

The area council will present oral testimony detailing these concerns before the Covington City Council at a public hearing on Jan. 28.

Rural Stormwater Retention Facility

On Dec. 16 the King County Council opened a Public Hearing into a draft Development Agreement  with YarrowBay to permit a 77-unit clustered housing development on 394 acres in the rural area immediately west of the city of Black Diamond.

At the public hearing the area council provided oral and written testimony specifically focused on a proposed regional stormwater facility to be sited in the rural area to primarily serve the adjacent master planned developments in Black Diamond.

The King County Council will reopen its public hearing on the draft on Jan. 13. In the intervening weeks King County’s Department of Permitting and Environmental Review has been evaluating State Environmental Policy Act.

The area council agreed to again testify to the problems of siting a regional stormwater facility in the rural area primarily to serve an urban area. The area council agrees with King County policy which states that urban serving and urban driven facilities should be located inside the Urban Growth Area.

Area Council Officer Elections

At its first monthly meeting of the year the area council conducts internal elections for its officers. For 2014 the area council re-elected Steve Hiester as chair, Peter Rimbos as corresponding secretary, and Tara Mahoney as treasurer. Les Dawson was elected as new vice-chair. Rob Morris was elected as new recording secretary. All officers immediately assumed their duties for the new year.

Next Area Council Meeting

The area council’s next monthly meeting will held Monday, from 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Fire Station at SE corner of 231st St & SR 169.

Fro more information visit www.greatermaplevalleyareacouncil.org.

 

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