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Letter to the Editor: Ober lot should be big enough for new library
I have some comments regarding the library move and development at K2. These comments reflect only my personal opinion and are not representative of my employer, King County, its agencies, or other DDES employees.
An article about the library in the Jan. 14 issue of The Beachcomber referred to a restriction on development at Ober Park because of surface water requirements that forced the King County Library System to look elsewhere for a new site.
According to the story, David Hackett wrote, “It would have been nice to know this two years ago, because it would have saved us all much trouble and anguish,” as if a restriction really prevented redevelopment at Ober Park and was the reason we should embrace moving the library out of town.
I hear comments like this all the time: “The county won’t approve my development.” My response is always, “Did you apply?” Typically, the answer is, “No, because I know the county won’t approve it,” which is usually incorrect.
By my reading of KCC 21A.12.030, the base allowable impervious surface for the library parcel is 55 percent. That parcel consists of more than five acres. A rough estimate of current impervious surface results in a percentage only about half that size, suggesting abundant space remains. My question for KCLS is, “Did DDES ever see a proposal?” Given a little imagination, it seems to me that there is ample opportunity to expand or replace the library at Ober Park and enhance current uses, including the berms and playground.
Regarding K2, given the unusual history of the rezone and the sensational nature of the proposal, I believe scrutiny to ensure concurrence with the original town plan is in order, as well as a rational assessment of community needs. For instance, the idea of a shuttle bus to support K2 uses is outmoded, unsustainable and wasteful.
The community council’s land use committee was assigned the task of reviewing K2’s rezoning request when the proposal was before the county. Had the committee been allowed time to complete its work, there would have been a form of public input before the rezone was pushed through and the town plan effectively altered.
— Greg Wessel