Land, water, highway @ North Highline Unincorporated Area Council

Toplines from November’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting:

LAND CONSERVATION INITIATIVE: Darren Greve and Dave Kimmett brought an update on King County’s Land Conservation Initiative.

The program has been in the works for about 2.5 years and this coming year their department will be working to define which areas can be considered for the longterm plan to find and acquire more land to use as parks, green spaces, and trails in King County. Priority will be given to low-income areas. Part of that plan will be to waive matching funds so that open spaces can be created in the lowest-income areas without having to clear a financial hurdle.

Part of what they’re trying to do will be included in extending the County parks levy. In the 2020s there might be an additional ballot measure strictly for acquiring property. Greve pointed out that the existing levy funding can only be used for upkeep and operation. An added ballot measure could be used to acquire land.

Q&A for them started with concerns about adequate community-wide input. Kimmett said he’s the boots-on-the-ground person and is willing to come back and talk to NHUAC about their immediate area. In the exchange, NHUAC president Liz Giba mentioned that she had suggested some land for such purposes and no one got back to her. The county reps apologized for that and Kimmett promised to returning in February with a more detailed map and extended conversation about potential WC areas that could be considered.

HIGHWAY 99 TRANSITION: The Alaskan Way Viaduct‘s permanent closure is now just two months away – January 11th. WSDOT’s Laura Newborn gave a general presentation on the plan (see West Seattle Blog coverage of the original announcement, plus the recent update with details for a goodbye/hello celebration weekend February 2-3). If you want to join in the bike ride, fun run, and/or walk on The Viaduct, be sure to sign up for your choice(s) ASAP!

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT: The County Council’s still considering where this fee goes in the budget plan; Josh Baldi of the Water and Land Resources Division told NHUAC that the overall budget includes money to do visioning for the White Center area, which would mean identifying areas with runoff problems. Baldi said the money would go to unincorporated areas since the improvements that might have been needed earlier were put off until the various areas voted on annexation; the county realizes some investment is needed and will be back next year to identify areas.

CRIME: Storefront Deputy Bill Kennamer said crimes overall are static or down. Car thefts made a huge drop in the past month. He speculated that a key arrest or two might account for that.

The North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meets first Thursdays, 7 pm, at North Highline Fire District HQ, 1243 SW 112th.


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