As a result of the significant number of comments received by the City of Sammamish regarding the proposed 60% plan for Section 2B of the ELST the City facilitated a public meeting with representatives of King County Parks on Tuesday, April 25. Unfortunately the meeting was yet another King County Parks dog and pony show reiterating once again their vision of the ELST with little if any regard to the interests of the citizens of Sammamish. No public comment was allowed. Kevin Brown, Director of Parks and Recreation Division, gave a 30 minute slide show about how well everything was going and pointing out what will happen in the construction of Section 2B. KC staff members were behind tables with aerial photos of the trail at an “open house” but provided no indication of where the trail would be located on the photos.
During Brown’s presentation there was a little laughter and at one point multiple people called out “untrue” when Brown commented that no homeowner was paying real estate taxes for the trail right-of-way (ROW). Brown also pointed out an example of a homeowners intrusion into King County’s claimed ROW that will have to be removed during construction. Interesting though that the identified intrusion is actually a home constructed under a building permit issued by the City. Otherwise, the overflow crowd that filled council chambers was quiet and disappointed.
The one thing that surprised SHO board members is how hard-line the County apparently intends to be about treating everything within the corridor as subject to County takeover, or at least the requirement to obtain special use permits and pay fees, including even docks and community waterfront. Brown emphasized that it is the County’s obligation to not allow anyone to use County property free of charge. Be prepared for a significant fee to cross the trail to utilize your own property!
This means that lawsuits proving that the County does not have fee interest in the ROW continue to be essential just to keep what we already have. SHO continues to fund the appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This appeal may take until the end of 2017 or even later for a decision.