About this blog

My name is Bill Hirt and I'm a candidate to be a Representative from the 48th district in the Washington State legislature. My candidacy stems from concern the legislature is not properly overseeing the WSDOT and Sound Transit East Link light rail program. I believe East Link will be a disaster for the entire eastside. ST will spend 5-6 billion on a transportation project that will increase, not decrease cross-lake congestion, violates federal environmental laws, devastates a beautiful part of residential Bellevue, creates havoc in Bellevue's central business district, and does absolutely nothing to alleviate congestion on 1-90 and 405. The only winners with East Link are the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington and their labor unions.

This blog is an attempt to get more public awareness of these concerns. Many of the articles are from 3 years of failed efforts to persuade the Bellevue City Council, King County Council, east side legislators, media, and other organizations to stop this debacle. I have no illusions about being elected. My hope is voters from throughout the east side will read of my candidacy and visit this Web site. If they don't find them persuasive I know at least I tried.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Proposed Permit Approval Changes Would Stop East Link

For several months Bellevue officials have been working towards modifying the East Link light rail permit approval procedures as part of their 2011 MOU agreement with Sound Transit.   The goals included:  Establish a comprehensive and consolidated permit process and provide a mechanism for addressing any applicable Land Use Code requirements.  It wasn’t clear what was involved in meeting either of these goals.

The February 11th Staff Report to the Bellevue City Council contains the proposed modifications.  Section V  “Applicable Decision Criteria-Land Use Code Part 20.30J” states “The City Council may approve or approve with modifications an amendment to the text of the Land Use Code if : 

Sub Section A  The amendment is in accord with the Comprehensive Plan; and the proposed amendment is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, including the Land Use, economic Development, and Transportation policies listed below”

The policies listed “below” included the following:

TR-75.1.  Develop a light rail system in collaboration with the regional transit provider that advances the City’s long-term transportation and land use objectives, minimizes environmental and neighborhood impacts, and balances regional system performance.

Sub Section C  The amendment is not contrary to the best interests of the citizens and property owners of the City of Bellevue

No one can rationally argue that the current East Link route into Bellevue "minimizes environmental and neighborhood impacts" or "not contrary to the best interests to the citizens and property owners of the City of Bellevue". 

East Link encroaches on the Mercer Slough Park and devastates the neighborhoods along the route into Bellevue.  The only way for light rail to meet these requirements is a tunnel into Bellevue.  The BBB lawsuit was the result of ST refusing to even consider a tunnel that would have “minimized environmental and neighborhood impacts”.

I look forward to the BCC implementing that permitting approval modification.

No comments:

Post a Comment