Letters to the Editor

Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council Nov. 5 meeting summary | Letter

The Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council (GMVUAC) held its regular monthly meeting Nov. 5. Major topics discussed were:

  • (1) the recently completed Area Council Annual Model Train Show
  • (2) the Area Council’s Citizens’ Survey
  • (3) recent proposals to change the zoning designation for the Reserve Silica lands south of Ravensdale.

Annual Model Train Show The Area Council held its 15th Annual Operating Model Train Show on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20-21, at the Gracie Hansen Community Center in Ravensdale.

The show included all kinds of operating model trains and train-related items.  Nearly 500 people attended over the weekend--young, old, and in between. Ten major model train layouts, including the ever-popular all-Lego Train Layout, helped fill the Community Center gymnasium. Enthusiasm and fun for all filled the weekend.

The Area Council and the community owes a great big thank you to Rock Creek Sports for donating and prepping the facility throughout the weekend. We also express our thanks to all the wonderful folks who attended this fun community event.

Please see our Train Show page for more information: http://greatermaplevalleyareacouncil.org/trainshow.html.

Citizens’ Survey The Area Council is reviving its Bi-Annual Citizens' Survey to gage unincorporated area residents on a variety of issues, including: County-supplied services, transportation, land-use and ermits, and levy and bond issues.

Our last Citizens’ Survey was in 2009. Raw results (no names) will be published in local newspapers, posted on our web site and will be sent to the King County Council and key County Department Directors.

The intent, as in the past, is to inform our County government of both the services people value and ways we desire to fund services.

The Citizens's Survey currently is being finalized and will be mailed to all rural unincorporated area residents living in the Tahoma School District. Past survey results can be seen on our Citizens’ Survey web page at: http://greatermaplevalleyareacouncil.org/gmvaccitizensurveys.html.

Reserve Silica The Area Council provided comments to the King County Council regarding King County Comprehensive Plan (KCCP) Striker Amendments R-1 and M5a as proposed by King County Councilwoman Jane Hague.

dWe opposed these amendments as they do not alter our oft-stated position that the negative affects of upzoning the Reserve Silica land from Forestry to R-10 would be far-reaching and would greatly impact Ravensdale and the surrounding local communities. Our position has been and remains that the former Reserve Silica Mining property should re-designated to Forestry.

The properties on three sides are in forestry as part of the Forest Production District. Consequently, we see no reason to alter zoning to R-10. This position is consistent with our previous Oral Testimony in April 2012 when the Council's TrEE Committee met in Ravensdale; our detailed written comments regarding the 2012 KCCP Update in both December 2011 and April 2012; and comments submitted to the Committee in September 2012. Further, we take issue with a King County Council member from another district (Ms. Hague, in this case) who can propose something that directly affects our local residents, but not her own constituents.

YarrowBay Phase 1A The Area Council continues to monitor the YarrowBay Master Planned Development (MPD) plan in Black Diamond to add 6,000 homes and 1.15 million sq ft of commercial/business space and how such plans will adversely affect most area roads. On August 31 the City of Black Diamond issued a Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS) for Phase 1A (PP1A) of the proposed MPDs. The MDNS means that given some additional mitigation, no further environmental review (i.e., Environmental Impact Statements) are required and the project can proceed through permitting.

On Nov. 1 - 3 PP1A Hearings were held before the city of Black Diamond’s Hearing Examiner. Area Council members testified as individuals on transportation and other impacts. 

The Hearing Examiner probably will issue a decision later this month. That decision will either impose additional conditions on the PP1A plat or outright reject the MDNS.

Next Area Council Meeting Meetings are held the first Monday of each month. A Public Comment period at the beginning of each meeting provides citizens an opportunity to voice issues of concern to Area Council members and County and State government officials in attendance. Your Area Council’s next monthly meeting will be Monday, December 3, from 7:00 - 9:30 PM at the Fire Station at 231st St and state Route169.

Your Area Council “works to keep the rural area rural” by serving as an all-volunteer, locally elected advisory body to King County on behalf of all rural unincorporated area residents living in the Tahoma School District.

Please visit our web site: www.greatermaplevalleyareacouncil.org for more information on your Area Council and rural issues.

Peter Rimbos,

Corresponding Secretary

 

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