December letters

December 4, 2014

By Contributor

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Educate yourself about Energize Eastside Program

As a resident and a physician, I am very concerned about Puget Sound Energy’s Energize Eastside Program.

What started as a far-sighted request to upgrade an aging infrastructure and plan for future growth has been hijacked into an oversized project that benefits a foreign-owned private corporation (PSE) as it prepares to divest in 2017.

Local needs have been expanded into a crisis, and we Eastside residents are being asked to pay for a vastly oversized project that seems more suited to transferring power between Canada and California than meeting our expected growth.

The Coalition of Eastside Neighbors for Sensible Energy has enlisted the talents of Eastside residents, including electrical engineers and people who have worked in the power industry, and have unearthed documents, data and have subsequently proposed an alternative solution. This can all be viewed at its website, cense.org.

The articles written to date on this subject have emphasized the PR tag lines that PSE has continually repeated. I guess if you repeat something often enough, it eventually becomes the truth. Frankly, it boggles my mind why a journalist wouldn’t delve a little deeper into the topic to expose other possible motives…especially when much of the work has been done already.

Once again it’s left up to the people. I urge all of you to visit cense.org to educate yourselves about what is about to happen to our cities.

Richard Kaner

Bellevue

 

Tell your representatives what you want for your city

As Newcastle claimed its place as a true “city,” a vision was conceived for its Community Business Center. The manifestation of this vision was to be a town center that would “serve as the civic, business and cultural center of the city.”

The urban design elements for this center would incorporate the community’s goals of protecting natural spaces and developing pedestrian-friendly connections between these areas and throughout the commercial zone. End result: a vibrant community with services close to home in a beautiful setting. “The best of both worlds,” as the saying goes.

Another often-used saying is that “the devil is in the details.” In order to guide developers’ efforts, very complicated codes were put in place in 2007 to address building heights and densities in the city’s development zones. Not every possible application of these codes was envisioned nor impact to peripheral single-family neighborhoods was vetted.

Now, our Newport Woods community is facing the unintended consequence of the application of these codes with a potentially devastating and permanent impact to our neighborhood. Goodman Real Estate has submitted plans to develop a six-story, 76-residential unit, multiuse building on less than an acre and just feet from our homes.

This building will obtrusively tower over our community, invading privacy, increasing noise and traffic, and potentially posing a hazard to the adjacent Olympic pipeline. We are heartbroken but we are trying to work with GRE to gain mutually acceptable modifications to this site that can best meet the needs of all parties involved.

Presently, the City Council is reviewing the Comprehensive Plan for Newcastle as well as the governing development codes. The current development plans for the city will add more than 1,100 residential units to Newcastle presumably vested into current codes. New development and future redevelopment will be affected by decisions made now.

Already, very big changes are coming to the city. Tell your representatives what you want for your city. No matter your position, it is critical that you get involved and let your voices be heard. Do not let your community or our city become victim to “unintended consequences.”

Jessaca Jacobson

Newport Woods

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