To the Editor — September 2015

September 2, 2015

By Contributor

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NEW — 4:48 p.m. Sept. 2, 2015

Reject the proposed School Woods plan

I am writing this to express my opposition to the proposed plan for the School Woods.  Beyond the loss of trails, the increased residential and “cut-through” traffic through two established neighborhoods, and the violation of existing wetlands, it is a shame to have lost a potential open space and park area.

This is especially true in a city having the least park land of any in the area  (4.7 acres of park acreage per 1,000 residents in Newcastle, compared to Renton’s 12.7 acres and Bellevue’s 21.2).

Further, the proposed development shows a complete lack of imagination and respect for the land. The site plan as it stands is in the perfect image of California practice:  Flatten for building pad, drop, flatten for building pad, drop again, flatten for building pad, drop again, etc., extending over the entire site. This is a forced, high-density housing development that shows little or no sympathy and respect for existing neighborhood ambiance.

The only unbuilt land shown on the proposed plot plan is that which is considered unbuildable and is thus entitled variously “Open Space” and “Recreation.” One chain-link fenced “Water Retention” pond is actually located precisely where there now stands the largest Douglas fir timber on the site (or in the area), a stand that could be easily preserved. Further, it appears that both “Water Retention” ponds do no more than serve to collect drainage directly from the street system and disgorge it onto adjacent lands outside the limits of the development.

So much for the enhancement of Newcastle.

Please reject this plan.

Tom Liethen

Newcastle

Thanks, elected officials, for speed humps

I want to thank the mayor and City Council for the level of concern extended to the residents of Southeast 74th and Southeast 75th street corridors in relation to the installation of speed humps to slow traffic down for our safety.

Although I am disappointed at Carol Simpson’s response that she was “tired of paying for repair costs to her car due to the speed humps in her neighborhood currently,” I am very pleased the balance of the City Council members voted in favor of installing speed humps as a permanent solution to the high rate of speed exhibited on our streets and to bring us in line with what every other street has for safety in and out of our neighborhood.

We thank the City Council for working with us to find a solution.

Kelly Clark

Newcastle

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