Sunday, August 07, 2005

PDA data supports Conflict of Interest allegations

The following additions were emailed to the County Ombudsman today related to my 2 complaints currently being investigated.


Please add this email and attached letter to both of my complaints to the Ombudsman. Recent documents obtained by King County DOT affirm that over 600 permits have been issued to Redmond Ridge and Trilogy since May 1, 2004, and that these permits have generated in excess of $1.2 million in fees to the county.

Not only does this fact provide a motive for the county's refusal to count cars as alleged in my Novelty Hill Road complaint, but it proves a significant financial conflict of interest in DDES and/or DOT as alleged in my Conflict of Interest complaint. With so much revenue at stake when required to enforce this permit condition, the county is hopelessly conflicted when facing the loss of this revenue in exchange for upholding this Redmond Ridge permit condition.

Thank you.

Michael Costello

-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------

Permit Fees motivating county to ignore permit conditions

Who does King County work for? The simple answer is that they work for whoever pays to fund their bureaucracies. The reality is that it’s developers that feed the county's growth machine, so King County needs to keep building permits flowing, no matter what.

Last April 2004, Novelty Hill Road came within just 10 vehicles per hour (vph) in the PM commute to shutting down Redmond Ridge and Trilogy; halting any further building permits. King County had the responsibility to consider homes under construction and those not yet started that had already been permitted, and halt the projects in their tracks to stop the already overwhelming impacts on area roads. They had the authority to adjust the 1,350 vph trigger to 1,340 vph, or to step up traffic counts until the trigger was reached, which would have happened within weeks.

Instead, King County simply stopped measuring traffic on Novelty Hill Road. In the 15 months since that near-miss, King County has only talked internally about the 1,350 trigger, while they have issued just over 600 permits to Redmond Ridge and Trilogy. But more importantly, the county has collected $1.2 million dollars from these projects in permit fees to fund the county’s growth machine. Not only does King County have a direct conflict of interest in enforcing this permit condition, but every new permit is now only worsening a traffic crisis that King County has no firm plan to address, and no funding to construct.

Michael Costello
Redmond, WA 98053

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