|Current Group Health site - parking lot|
and treed canopy
Bill Biggs, the proponent for landowner Group Health, presented a sealed offer during the December 13 meeting to assuage council and the large crowd speaking against 100% tree removal. Council held off on their decision to review Mr. Biggs offer. (Mr. Biggs is also President of the Redmond Economic Development Alliance).
Mr. Bigg's offer was solely about the park. It was reviewed by city staff and accepted by council on January 3, as this ammendment:
"The City shall design and install additional park improvements consistent with its neighborhood park standards RZC 21...." In the process of designing the Park, the City shall consider retention of existing significant and landmark trees where feasible and consistent with good park design and public safety. The Owner and members of the community shall be consulted and given opportunity to comment on proposed park features, design and materials.
The City shall seek opportunities for preservation of trees in connection with the design of the Park"Associate city planner Dennis Lisk wrote: "I looked into the number of significant and landmark trees located within the area of the future park and found approximately 12 significant trees, none of which are landmark trees." Mr. Lisk said there was no guarantee these park trees would be retained, or any others.
Four-hundred trees are slated for planting on the site. Their size is undefined, as to sapling or 12 foot standard trees. Rain gardens, planted courtyards, pervious roads, and other LID features are planned.
To compensate for the tree removal, Group Health will plant 3,345 trees and 31,220 shrubs off site in parks and near creeks "to approximate the environmental benefits" of the Group Health forest canopy. Once Group Health sells it's first parcel for development, ~250 trees will be planted in each of the following 2-acre sites:
- Juel Park (east) [city contact: Betty Sanders, firstname.lastname@example.org]
- Perrigo Park (west) [city contact: Betty Sanders]
- Millennium Office Park/Swedish easement adjacent Bear Creek. [city contact: Dennis Lisk, email@example.com]
- Viewpoint Open Space (after blackberries are cleared). city contact: [Betty Sanders]
Of note, according to Lisk, "60% of the parking is underground and expensive and, as a concession to Group Health for this expense additional densities were permitted by the City." i.e. building height and number of buildings. Another, unnamed city official said density concessions were given in the earlier planning stages to retain the trees.
Comments are welcome.
Reported by Bob Yoder
Photo by Yoder