The summer has been quiet, but there have been some significant developments:
An extension for our first brief for the appeal of our federal case to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court was granted. The new date is October 19th. The extension has allowed more time to improve the brief which is nearly ready for submittal.
The Shorelines Hearings Board (SHB) returned its decision on the South Segment 2A Shoreline Substantial Development Permit (SSDP) appeal on September 14; spending 2 ½ months to decide against SHO’s issues. The decision incorrectly argued that SHO (1) had failed to make its case because the County testified that it had not used an illegal wetland buffer exemption and then (2) had attempted to make arguments not relevant to the issues before the board.
SHO filed a request for reconsideration to the SHB on September 23. The request respectfully pointed out the errors made by the 3-member board, but the request was denied on October 4. The next step in the SSDP appeal process is to file an appeal in King County Superior Court.
Earlier this summer, mesh screening attached to the County’s chain-link fence by the County in the completed North section of the ELST was torched. At a meeting on September 21 requested by a resident, Kevin Brown, KC Parks Director, refused to reinstall the screening which was providing some privacy for neighboring homeowners. The screening originally was offered by the County to replace the privacy lost when the County removed 100’s of trees to move the trail 5 feet closer to the lake.
As stated above, SHO needs to prepare to file the South Segment 2A SSDP appeal to Superior Court. This appeal is administrative, meaning that a judge will be asked whether the SHB properly applied the law. While the preparation of the appeal will not be extensive, SHO believes that this appeal should be done by an attorney.
SHO believes that continuation of the appeal process is important to the residents of both Section 2A and 2B. Winning the appeal will keep the trail centered on the interim trail and reduce its width from 18 feet to 14 feet within all critical area buffers. These buffers are numerous in both sections.
When SHO started the trail “fight” we believed that asking $500 per parcel along the trail would be adequate and reasonable. What we did not anticipate was that only 35% of the people owning these parcels would contribute. Therefore, if you or your neighbors have not already contributed, SHO asks that you pay your share NOW!
This “fight” can be won. Although King County claims to own the trail right-of-way, it actually owns almost none of it. By not fighting, we are all letting the County bully us into doing and paying for whatever it tells us to do. It is our property; we need to fight for our rights!!!