Victory in Lake Forest Park (Again)
Updated December 13 2007
After a last-ditch effort to derail the redevelopment of the Burke-Gilman Trail through Lake Forest Park appeared to be going nowhere fast, the City reluctantly approved King County’s permit application declaring it “complete.” King County is now vested under current law leaving Lake Forest Park unable to subject the trail to future legislation.
King County is pressing ahead with its plans to modernize the oldest section of the trail. On November 1st they released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that proposes three potential designs.
In summer of 2007, the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board overturned Ordinance 951, the City’s previous attempt to obstruct redevelopment of the trail. The ruling came in favor of the Cascade Bicycle Club’s petition challenging the ordinance. In its ruling, the Board found that Cascade Bicycle Club, “did carry their burden of proof to demonstrate that the City was clearly erroneous in its adoption of Ordinance 951, and issued an Order of Invalidity.”
Following the overturning of Ord. 951, the City proposed a similar piece of legislation designed to try to fly under the GMHB’s radar. Upon review, we found that it contained many of the same provisions struck down by the Board last summer. Should it have been passed and applied to the BGT, we would have had to inform the Growth Management Hearings Board that, in our opinion, the City has not complied with the Board’s July 23rd order. Ordinance 963, fortunately, cannot now be applied to the redevelopment of the trail. The Lake Forest Park City Council will likely withdraw Ord. 963 at the Thursday, December 13 Council Meeting.
Lake Forest Park is pressing ahead with a technical review of the County’s permit application and may use that process to press for changes to the County’s plan. However, we do not expect any major changes mandated by the City.
With this last hurdle out of the way, there’s little stopping the County from getting to work. If all goes according to schedule, we’ll be riding a rebuilt trail before the end of 2008, and - hopefully this’ll be the last we hear about this issue for a while.
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