If anyone still believes that King County cares about supporting growth with roads, yesterday's approval of Redmond Ridge East should drive the last nail in that thinking. If anyone still thinks that this county council cares about hearing examiner recommendations to deny development, or that they might be concerned with the ongoing wrongdoing by KCDOT to cheat for developers, the decision should quickly erase that too.
Yesterday's approval of Redmond Ridge East, on an 8-1 vote, is the clearest evidence to date that King County's land use machine is controlled by big developers like Quadrant, and that anything is okay when it comes to actions to help developers like Quadrant get projects approved; even if it means millions in unfunded road impacts and gridlock for citizens.
With more than 1500 homes yet to be constructed within the long-approved Trilogy, road congestion has blossomed into miles of AM and PM commute traffic along Novelty Hill Road. But with the county's traditional "bait and switch" approach to its Capital Improvment Program, this 14 year-old CIP item is still unplanned, unfunded, and unapproved. But that doesn't matter to a county that would and has literally been alleged to have broken laws to help this developer get 800 more homes approved.
With DOT whistleblowers suing the county over wrongdoing and retaliation, and hundreds of millions of dollars in road impacts buried and passed onto future taxpayers to address, the Council's approval of Redmond Ridge East, in the face of hearing examiner Stafford Smith's recommendation to deny the project and rescind it concurrency certificate, is the final proof that there is nothing this government will not do for Quadrant.
The King County Council clearly felt more than comfortable ignoring the examiner's finding once there were no appellents left with standing to sue. Never mind what was the right thing to do, huh?
And with its allies in the Seattle Times and King County Journal giving this outrageous violation of the public trust cover, most people will continue to ask, "why aren't our roads being improved to support growth?" For those watching this fiasco, the answer is obvious.