Saturday, June 10, 2017

Example of "Items from the Audience" -- a great way to talk to the Mayor and Council, or listen in.

The black box is a video of last week's Council meeting.  You may want you to listen to "Items from the Audience" at the very beginning of the meeting. This is a good one.  (Wait 35 seconds, then the meeting will start.)

Every other week the City Council and Mayor hold a business meeting where citizens during "Items from the Audience" are invited to speak up to four minutes on any topic they wish.  At last week's meeting 10 citizens talked about 7 different topics.  If you've got 40 minutes or are having a hard time getting to sleep, listen in; if not, it's summarized by topic below:  

1.)  Rezoning the SE industrial zone so development can occur around the SE Redmond (Marymoor) transit station.  It's expected a new "neighborhood" will develop in the vicinity of the station  Two massive parking garages are planned -- two developers asked council to consider a public-private partnership to put parking in their buildings.  Amazingly one of the developers (Mr. Morrelee) has a wife with decedents going back to Luke McRedmond, the founder of Redmond.  .

2.)  Safeguarding the 41 small business and 500 jobs within the new SE Redmond neighborhood.

3.)  Crumb rubber toxins city turf fields.  David Morton, PhD is a "frequent flyer" at Items.  He hasn't missed a week in over three years.  His talk topics have been:  Watson Asphalt air pollution, leaf blower noise and air pollution. and now crumb rubber toxins.

4)  The relocation of Evans Creek onto private property  Two Union Shares private property owners have been frequent flyers as well.  They are taking legal action against the city for abuse of the condemnation ordinance.  Evans Creek re-location is underway to 1) improve salmon habitat 2) create a wetland park with trails. Inadvertently, land value for owners south of the creek will improve.

5)  Permits underway to redevelop the concrete block building on Cleveland Street. J.D. Klein was concerned the building could be used for marijuana retail.  Mayor Marchione responded.

6)  Eliminating the "quasi-judicial" appeal process for land use decisions.  Retired councilmember Kim Allen spoke eloquently about how this archaic process constrained council from communicating with their constituents during controversial land use decisions such as the Parrigo Heights and SRA boathouse decisions.

7)  Emerald Heights proposal to build a 3-story assisted living facility.  This one was a doosie.  The wife of Councilmember John Stilin (probably Redmond's next mayor) argued against the proposal claiming:  1) the building was not in character with their Abby Road neighborhood. 2) landscaped screening was inadequate, and 3) zoning didn't mesh with the Comprehensive Plan.  Ms. Stilin said she and her neighbors will attend the June 15th Design Review Board meeting to comment on the landscaping plan.  It appears only the few know the public may comment at DRB meetings -- lousy transparency.

Bob Yoder


Howard Harrison said...

Hi Bob. Love your blog, but must comment on the Emerald Heights item. Sherry Stillin was representing the Abbey Road Homeowners Association in addition to the almost 170 people who either wrote personal emails or signed a petition objecting to the location and design of this project. EH's proposed project is an industrial style building two blocks long located 15 feet from their fence along 176th Ave. NE. It would replace existing green belt with a three story (over 40 feet with utilities) that is completely out of character with the neighborhood. BTW, the EH item has been pulled from the Design Review Board meeting on the 15th.

Bob Yoder said...

Hi Howard, I'm glad you like my blog and was sorry to lose you as my neighbor. You must be living in the Abbly Road neighborhood now. I learned yesterday from the planner the Review was cancelled owing to the flood of letters This was a first for the DRB and unfair to others in the community who may have wanted to comment, positive or negative. IMO, the proposed building isn't "industrial style."

The DRB process is non-transparent in that "Public Comment" isn't published in the agendas and so citizen participation is seriously impacted.