Monday, August 28, 2006

Only the King County "Developers" Journal would give a "Thumbs up for approval of Redmond Ridge"

Never mind that "Redmond Ridge" was approved in 1997 and the paper's grovelling to Quadrant couldn't even get the name of the development, "Redmond Ridge East", correct. What do you expect from a newspaper that simply reprints county and developer press releases, but has no interest in the facts, investigation, or even quotes from outsiders who might counter the government/developer spin on all of this? I've got to wonder what motivates a paper to work so hard to help condone what every informed person knew was anything but worthy of praise. But this is nothing new for this Horvitz-owned newspaper.

The paper's lead editorial today, "Thumbs up for approval of Redmond Ridge" is just the finishing touch by a paper that long-ago won the title as the King County "Developers" Journal. It's bad enough that the paper's coverage of Redmond Ridge East was little more than cheerleading for Quadrant Homes, but leave it to this paper to work the PR a week after the County Council ignored the law and efforts by the opposition that proved that DOT had cheated - again - for this developer and improperly issued them a concurrency certificate that was the basis of its approval by the county's development machine.

You'll probably never see the following letter printed in the paper, so here it is for readers of my blog:
Re: Thumbs up for approval of Redmond Ridge?

In 2002, King County DOT granted Quadrant Homes a transportation concurrency certificate for Redmond Ridge East (RRE) even though Novelty Hill Road was already operating over capacity with thousands of Redmond Ridge and Trilogy homes yet to be constructed,. The infamous 10-year old CIP project for Novelty Hill Road had again been emptied of funding, and still had no plan, EIS or approval. CIP #100992 still has no EIS, plan, approval, or full funding today.

Fivc county DOT employees went public in 2003 with a laundry list of allegations, including both improper and illegal acts committed by the DOT concurrency group for RRE. They alleged that they were retaliated against for their charges by their management, including DOT director Linda Dougherty, after their names were linked to decisions they did not make and they were demoted.

Then in 2005, in an unprecedented ruling, the King County hearing examiner agreed that DOT had cheated and recommended denial of RRE and the rescinding of its wrongfully issued concurrency certificate.

None of this mattered last week when a decade of DOT corruption concluded and the County Council, with the exception of Kathy Lambert, voted to ignore the wrongdoing, concurrency laws, and approved RRE anyway.

Yeah, this is certainly something for a newspaper to condone. But as usual, the King County "Developers" Journal has always made its allegiance to the growth industries very clear. If only it focused as much attention on investigative journalism and not reprinting county and Quadrant press releases?
"Land use process in King County." There's a laugh! "Unbiased coverage of land use decisions by the King County Journal." That's even funnier!

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