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Letter to the Editor: Moving the Urban Growth Boundary in Woodinville Unnecessary

The farms in the Sammamish Valley are special. Not only are is the open space a big part of our city's beauty, the lands also provide opportunities for new farmers and help support our local wine-tourism industry.

 

Dear Editor:

I live in a lovely neighborhood called Pioneer Hills, which is on the border of Woodinville city limits but technically in Bothell. I shop in Woodinville and use the trail systems every day wih my dog. I love the lush greenery that surrounds most of the area and I'm very pleased that Woodinville is slowly becoming a sought out place to live and do the wine tasting tour.

In my opinion, what makes a city appealing is a balance between a respect for a forested area and the species that inhabit it, quaint shops, and housing developements that still have trees standing. Part of the open spaces need to be utilized for farming to feed the local community.

The farms in the Sammamish Valley are special. Not only are is the open space a big part of our city's beauty, the lands also provide opportunities for new farmers and help support our local wine-tourism industry.

Unfortunately, there's currently a proposal before the King County Council that would expand the urban growth area and allow sprawl into the valley -- losing our farmlands forever.  As there is plenty of land available within the city limits for urban growth, this is completely unnecessary.

Please support protecting our farmland and tell the King County Council to vote down the proposal. You can learn more at http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5127/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=11079

Ashlie Witt

Braunzie July 09, 2012 at 10:03 PM
While I can certainly understand the writers concerns, the businesses wanting to be incorporated have little or no farmland and will not result in ag lands creep. I would suggest that a more appropriate comment to King County should be keep what is farmland - farmland and what is being used for other purposes in this area have the ability to be incorporated.
Kat Stremlau July 10, 2012 at 03:12 AM
That seem to make sense to me! Is there an argument against what Braunzie is suggesting - or has it never been proposed?
Jodi Getz July 10, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Well that all sounds nice but there are rules. To move the UGB you must show need. There is no need for added commercial property in this area. There is no money to improve the roadway from the county and the city has no budget to take possesion of the roadway and improve it. Most importantly is that there will be creep. There are already more than double the property owners already identified ready to be rezoned. We need to develop the properties already zoned commercial and in the city. For example the vacant wine village project at the roundabouts as well as allowing Canterbury Square which borders the valley to develop. This is already under contract. How about reversing the squallor that the county allowed to go in and degrade the valley and returning it to farmland. Do you really want to close the valley off with highrise development? Look what happened when the Church went in. The valley views would be totally obscured from the roadway and your Wine Valley ambience gone forever. But first prove there is need. That is what the current regulations demand to move the UGB.
Ron Olson July 10, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Only a small portion of the Woodinville valley annexation areas could be considered "Agricultural". The balance of the 17 property owners seeking UGB adjustments are currently in the RURAL zone. Rural does not necessarily mean farm land. Rural could be a church, a single family residence, vacant land, a garden nursery, farm machinery repair facility, or a produce stand. The majority of the proposed Woodinville valley annexation properties are rural in character. They are conforming uses consistent with rural zoning. Annexation of those properties in order to build a hotel, restaurant, or other commercial development, is not a proper rural buffer area that’s needed to protect the ambience of the valley, the sensitive Sammamish River, the aquifer recharge areas, and wildlife. Woodinville has already desecrated part of the Sammamish valley with the installation of the 20+ acre wine village. Why not complete that project first? With significant portions of Woodinville properties sitting vacant and underdeveloped, why should King County allow additional encroachment on sensitive lands?
Jodi Getz July 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Ron you are on the right track except for one point. The 17 parcels are the only ones disclosed by the Real Estate Agent and the City Staff to the City / County Councils. There are more than double that # ready to develop. There has not been full disclosure. If there has been it has been behind closed doors. This situation is being controlled and the public deceived.

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