Maple Valley appeals YarrowBay developments in Black Diamond over traffic problems | Read Documents
By DENNIS BOX
Covington Reporter Editor
February 14, 2010 · Updated 8:21 PM
The Maple Valley City Council unanimously approved a motion ratifying two notice of appeal filings concerning YarrowBay's master plan developments in Black Diamond, The Villages and Lawson Hills.
Maple Valley is objecting to the proposals submitted by the Kirkland-based YarrrowBay in a final environmental impact statement or FEIS concerning traffic problems created by the developments. The Villages and Lawson Hills would build more than 6,000 homes in Black Diamond.
The problem facing Maple Valley is the deadline for filing the appeals was Dec. 28, 2009.
The council met in a special meeting at 6:20 p.m. tonight in the Maple Room of the Lake Wilderness Lodge to vote on the motion.
The appeals are challenging the "adequacy of the FEIS" and were directed to Steve Pilcher, the community development director of Black Diamond, the hearing examiner, Phil Olbrechts, and parties of record in the pending SEPA or state environmental policy act appeals.
At the meeting City Manager David Johnston said the city had tried to file the appeal with the city of Black Diamond Tuesday and today. Johnston said the city was told the "appeals were not timely and were not to be accepted."
Maple Valley tried to pay the $250 appeals fee by credit card Tuesday and a staff member brought money to Black Diamond City Hall today, but both attempts were turned down. The staff at Black Diamond told the Maple Valley representatives the deadline had passed and the money could not be accepted.
The Maple Valley appeal document stated Black Diamond's code conflicts on hearing appeals on the FEIS.
The appeals stated Maple Valley officials intended to wait for the recommendation from the hearing examiner on the master plan development for The Villages and Lawson Hills, and then file an appeal with the Black Diamond City Council.
The appeal document noted Black Diamond planned to limit the appeals to those who filed by the Dec. 28, 2009 deadline.
The appeals document stated, "To the extent that the City of Black Diamond intends to limit SEPA appeals to the three appeals that have already been filed, and to the extent that the City of Black Diamond would claim that Maple Valley’s administrative SEPA appeal is time barred, the City of Maple
Valley hereby objects and, for the reasons stated below, asserts its right to administratively appeal the FEIS for the Proposal to the Black Diamond City Council."
The document also noted the hearing examiner does not "have the jurisdiction to hear the pending SEPA appeals on the adequacy of the FEIS."
Maple Valley is stating the FEIS is not adequately addressing the impact of traffic on Maple Valley.
Steve Clark, public works director for Maple Valley, sent a letter Oct. 9 2009 to Pilcher outlining the problems and providing suggested remedies from Maple Valley's point of view.
The appeal stated, "The response to these comments in the final EIS is not adequate and the final EIS still fails to adequately disclose, analyze, and suggest appropriate mitigation for the traffic impacts of the Proposal."
The appeal stated the hearing examiner, "should find that he does not have jurisdiction to conduct the SEPA appeal hearing and should limit the proceedings before him to the open record hearing on the merits of the MPD application."
The document goes on to state if the hearing examiner does conduct a SEPA appeal hearing as scheduled, Maple Valley wants to be heard as one of the appellants, or "to intervene in the scheduled appeal hearing. In making this request, Maple Valley also reserves its right to appeal the adequacy of the EIS to the City Council."
Johnson noted at the meeting the Black Diamond City Attorney was contesting Maple Valley's right to be heard by the hearing examiner.
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