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Futurewise Delivers More Than 300 Signatures in Support of Local Farms

Non-profit is leading the charge against expansion of the urban growth boundary.

Last Friday, Futurewise, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving local farms, delivered petitions containing over 370 signatures to the King County Growth Management Planning Council as part of the organization's fight against the expansion of Woodinville's urban growth boundary.

The King County Growth Management Planning Council is expected to make a decision on whether or not to recommend expanding the boundary at their upcoming Sep. 11 meeting. Any recommendation would then be taken to the King County Council.

Brock Howell, King County Program Director for Futurewise, was pleased with the community's show of support for their petition drive.

"It was a really overwhelming positive response," Howell said. "We think it's pretty clear that Woodinville residents support protecting their farms."

Howell said that the Growth Management Planning Council's upcoming vote could be very close but believes they will ultimately side with Futurewise and their supporters.

"We're pretty hopeful that we'll be able to protect Woodinville's farms," Howell said.

Braunzie August 29, 2012 at 03:35 AM
300 signatures are actually quite small given the area and number of residents in Woodinville. I would be curious to know the supporters of a controlled expansion of the UGA which is what is proposed.
Dale Knapinski August 29, 2012 at 02:11 PM
The supporters of UGB adjustments are the property owners that stand to make a fortune selling their 17 properties to developers, and the real estate agent that made campaign contributions to the Woodinville councilmembers that voted in favor of supporting UGB adjustments because he will get a huge commission on the sale of the properties. The annexation of additional properties to Woodinville might seem to be a benefit to Woodinville. But that is not the case. Woodinville taxpayers spent millions of dollars on infrastructure for the Woodinville Wine Village, which is already in the city limits. The Wine Village property will remain vacant for another 10 years if the city annexes more property set to have the same zoning. The UGB adjustment of 17 lots on the valley floor makes no sense for Woodinville taxpayers. Four Woodinville councilmembers are hiding the truth about the annexation story, that's why they keep voting to prevent public discussions about the issue. In my opinion, the UGB adjustment in Woodinville is a crooked, back door deal fueled by greed and campaign contributions.
Kristin Gulledge August 29, 2012 at 04:36 PM
When we moved to my hometown in Illinois it had 4,000 people, when I left, it was almost 10,000 and that was due mainly to annexations. When I went back I couldn't recognize it. That is because all of the rural fields overgrown with tall grass that went on for miles (outside of town) became strip mall after strip mall and housing development after housing development. My hometown now has over 30,000 people. Just something to think about when we are making these decisions. It's good to hear from people that are not natives here to hear what their life experiences are.
Ron Olson August 30, 2012 at 03:33 AM
The realtor that's pushing for annexation will make tons of money. He has made it clear to Woodinville staff members that he can deliver Woodinville councilmember support to the annexation effort because he spent a lot of money on the last council campaign.
Braunzie August 30, 2012 at 03:46 AM
I am not going to get into a "someone may get rich argument" for it has no merit. I will say that an appropriately crafted UGA agreement would make the most sense. Growth needs to happen incrementally. I do not see any huge problems with allowing this and I have yet to hear a real reason why this should not happen. If not now, when? Under what circumstances? Some tourism notions presented are bad? What type of growth would be palatable? Provide the road map.
Ron Olson August 30, 2012 at 04:31 AM
"I do not see any huge problems with allowing this (UGB adjustment and annexation) and I have yet to hear a real reason why this should not happen" EXACTLY!!!! Now you get it. You haven't heard anything about it because the City of Woodinville has never had a public hearing about annexation of the properties currently under consideration by King County. The Woodinville council voted to move forward with annexation with no study, no traffic impacts, not review of a need for additional property, no comparison with other area land that might be much better suited for annexation than the valley floor, no input from existing businesses that might suffer from additional competition that added properties would bring, and no review by the Woodinville Planning Commission. Nothing. One local realtor has the Woodinville council and Woodinville staff spending many thousands of Woodinville tax dollars on a push that is supposed to be paid for by the non-residents that want annexation. This is a back door deal and everybody knows it. We don't need a road map. We need an open and honest discussion, no more, no less. There is no reason why the Woodinville council should be voting to prevent a public hearing on this issue. Les Rubstello, Paulette Bauman, Liz Aspen, and Scott Hageman voted for keeping the UGB annexation issue a secret. Woodinville taxpayers will not tolerate hidden deals.
Ron Olson August 30, 2012 at 04:44 AM
John Corrado is the Windermere realtor that's the driving force behind the annexation deal. Destruction of the valley and destroying any chance that Woodinville will ever see the Woodinville Wine Village developed will be the result of annexing the properties Mr. Corrado is promoting. Les Rubstello and other Woodinville council members accepted campaign contributions from John and the developer that is seeking UGB adjustments, and the day after the last Woodinville council election John Corrado wrote the following Email to Woodinville staff member, Hal Hart: November 9th, 2011 “Hal, the election is the first step in delivering to you a council that is business friendly. But I need you and Rich to help us answer the county’s request about annexation. My group already spent $35k on the consultant and we’re out of money. Can the city step up and complete the proposal?” John. What in the world is John asking the Woodinville staff to do? Spend taxpayer money to help him get UGB adjustments from King County? Why isn’t “his group” footing the bill? Isn’t this a private deal between non-resident property owners and King County? I’m sorry that John’s group spent $35k. But I want to know why my tax money was spent to help a non-resident realtor and his non-resident clients with UGB adjustments that will ultimately be a disaster for the valley and current Woodinville businesses.
Jon Samlin August 30, 2012 at 05:19 AM
Ron you make some excellent points. Braunzie says this would be nice. So many things would be nice but are they financially viable and can we afford them. Who is going to pay to widen 140th? Put in sewer and power and storm water systems? The County and City have no money. 17 property owners? No way. How about all the property owners on 140th? Now were talking. Then we are talking about all the property Councilmember Rubstello's brother owns. Opps did Rubstello forget to disclose that when he voted. You bet he forgot. Forgot to disclose but did not forget to make sure Windermere was talking with his brother about cutting a deal. How corrupt can it get? Just say Rubstello. Opps which one. The councilmember, the brother or their cousin the city attorney. Not much else to say.
Dale Knapinski August 30, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Who will pay for road improvements along 140th Ave NE if commercial development takes over the valley? King County owns the road. King County will not even address the current problems with the road. The street still floods across from the tractor repair shop, there is a big bump in front of Mathews, no turn lanes, and no speed limit enforcement. Adding a bunch of alcohol establishments along this road is asking for trouble.
Jon Samlin August 30, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Why didn't this all come up during the study of the annexation process by the city and county councils?
Dale Knapinski August 30, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Annexation of valley property will have a big impact on Woodinville AND the surrounding unincorporated area. Woodinville should have an open public meeting to discuss the issue before blindly moving forward with a Resolution that endorses UGB adjustments. Braunzie, do you oppose a public meeting at a Woodinville council meeting to discuss this or not?
Jon Samlin August 30, 2012 at 03:10 PM
So you are OK with tax increases to fund a road project for development we don't need?
Dale Knapinski August 30, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Woodinville never had a public meeting on annexation, never had the Planning Commission study the issue, and never considered annexation of different properties that are available to the city that are not on the valley floor, but are still located adjacent to the tourist area. King County had meetings, but the annexation by Woodinville is a whole different ball game. As a city, Woodinville needs to decide if adding additional tourist attractions by destroying the valley is worth the exchange. Woodinville does not have to destroy agricultural land to expand the tourist area. There is available land on the east side of 140th that is much better suited to development and those property owners are interested in annexation. City staff never presented this option to the council or to the taxpaying citizens of the city. The issue of annexation is one thing. The issue of Woodinville staff filtering information to the council is a separate issue that has to be addressed. Filtering information is no different than telling a lie.
Braunzie August 31, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Wow. That is a lot of input. The first piece is that when the County has their periodic hearing to expand the UGA, they can do so without City input (it would be unwise but it can be done). The second part of that same process is that the City desires after the expanded UGA to annex such properties in which case public hearings are needed. Sor far as utilities, roads etc.. the applicant pays for frontage improvents completely as well as dedication of frontage for additional lanes etc. They are also required to connect to sewer if they plan to develop. 17 properties (both adjacent to sewered properties would not be that hard to do). These same applicants would pay multiple fees for growth and permits. Their property taxes would go up considerably if they develop (assuming they do). Developers and owners of property engage the City often to know how or if their proposals are viable (and yes, they do spend a considerable amount of money to make their case). There is no special treatment and the inference is not warranted. So far as Council affecting others property when one sits and another may own - it was decided that the area in question would be good for the community as a whole and to excuse oneself would possibly punish others who deserve the consideration. I do not have a dog in this fight, but it is fair to present the raw facts.
Ron Olson August 31, 2012 at 02:53 AM
If it were not for Hal Hart's unauthorized 2010 Docket Request, the recent request for UGB adjustments on the valley floor would have met the same fate as it did for the previous 8 years....No UGB adjustments. But the King County property owners that wanted UGB adjustments were assisted by a Woodinville staff member working beyond his authority in the same manner that Woodinville staff has been doing for the last 2 years. UGB adjustments are done by King County, not Woodinville. But Woodinville taxpayers are paying the bill for John Corrado's clients. Woodinville staff is working behind the scenes assisting Corrado, Talasaea Consulting, and the property owners with their paperwork, files, and by entertaining King County officials on Woodinville time. Corrado's clients spent $35k...Woodinville taxpayers spent a lot more, and this was to benefit non-residents. I say it is a misuse of funds.
Jon Samlin August 31, 2012 at 05:46 AM
There is no way 17 parcels along a stretch of road that long will cover costs. Frontage rights? Oh Boy! That road needs to be torn down regraded and expanded to at least 3 lanes. Costs would be astronomical to the city or the county who I state again have NO MONEY. What about need? There is none. This is nothing but a cheap land grab driven by DeYoung and Windermere Real Estate! What an embarassment to a lovely city that is finally turning itself around. Talking about cooking the Golden Goose so just a few people can profit and then walk away.
Ron Olson August 31, 2012 at 02:07 PM
One thing at a time..."Frontage" includes only the property along the road that is adjacent to the property being developed. The 17 properties comprise a section just north of the roundabout and just south of NE 171st Street, but nothing in between. The most that would be done for road improvements would be sidewalks along the road for a very short section along 140th/148th. The "Dedication" just means a little piece of property along the road is set aside for possible future road improvements. But since there is a huge gap between the north and south potential annex areas, the dedication is useless with respect to making any real road improvements that would enhance safety or improve traffic flow. Development of the 17 lots would increase traffic, increase the potential for additional drunk drivers on our roads, and would ruin the valley, and King County will never do road improvements for the benefit of Woodinville businesses. All Woodinville taxpayers would get is another 8 years of vacancy for the Woodinville Wine Village, which cost them millions of dollars.....
Jon Samlin August 31, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Edwin I couldn't agree with you more on this. Your comments are right on. One point though. I believe the fields are priced right along with all the others in the area. We just seem to have a surplus of fields not the picture of dire need that some individuals painted or continue to paint now for the Wellington Golf Course. Also you see these same individuals (realtors and guiding family - ha ha) ready to steal $5,000,000 of our money to fix up the old school that still has no business plan. I remember Liz Aspen's last comments before the Rec Center went to the YMCA. She said they needed more time to develop a business plan. They spent $6 million dollars without a business plan and are about to do it again on the building next door. Amazing.
Braunzie September 01, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Again, the developer (if there is one) will pay for infrastructure improvements along their frontage. That was a lesson learned. Ron is correct in that the developer would not be reponsible for road improvement not in front of their proerty.
Ron Olson October 19, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Futurewise is not invited to the 10/24/2012 meeting between the King County Executive and Woodinville, even though UGB adjustments will be discussed. Woodinville wanted a private meeting with selected guests so that Dow would only hear one side of the annexation story.

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