SKWC Opposition to the 14th Ave W Extension

March 15, 2021

Snohomish County Council Public Works Committee

SUBJECT: Statement Against ECAF #71188: (Proposed Motion #21-090) Right-of-Way Plan for 14th Ave W Extension: 220th St SE to Locust Way; RC1497 UPI #06-0025

The Sno-King Watershed Council (SKWC) expresses its strong opposition to the Public Works proposed right-of-way plan to extend 14th Ave West between 220th Street SE and Locust Way. This new road will obliterate an important wetland adjacent to Swamp Creek located between 228th Street SW and Locust Way. This wetland helps to support a host of wildlife species including Coyote (w/pups), Mountain Beaver, Bobcat, Raccoon, Opossum, Long-tailed Weasel, deer, snails, amphibians, and a host of bird species including Cooper’s Hawk, Barred Owl, Western Screech Owl, Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks, Mallard rearing, Pileated Woodpeckers, plus many more nesting species.

I have personally observed and counted Wood Ducks on this pond during the PAS Christmas Bird Count.

While David Lee confirmed in a May 26, 2020 that I was a party of record, I received no notification that this project was being considered by the SNOCO Public Works committee. I suspect other concerned citizens were also not notified, who have vocal opposition to this project. This project will cut the Castlemount subdivision in half with an arterial street, decrease children’s safety with increased traffic, and disturb neighbors with truck noise from increased traffic, without any notification to these residents.

SNOCO Public Works proposes to mitigate the loss of this high value wetland by using its Little Bear Creek Advance Mitigation Site (LBCAMS); or by using the King County In- Lieu fee program to purchase of mitigation credits at the Keller Farm near Redmond. Neither of these mitigation sites are even in the Swamp Creek basin and will provide absolutely no benefit for the loss of wildlife habitat, flood attenuation, or help support summer base flow in Swamp Creek lost by the wetland’s distruction.

The 14th Avenue extension is unnecessary, as adequate traffic circulation is provided along Locust Way from 228th Street SW. Indeed, SNOCO recently repaved Locust Way making it a much smoother and safer ride. This expensive connection will provide no traffic mitigation for traffic on Cypress Way and will cut the existing Castlemount neighborhood in half with a high traffic arterial street.

The City of Kenmore continues to spend more than $100,000 annually at a surface water facility located in Swamp Creek just downstream of the Snohomish County border to remove sediment and debris from the stream resulting from the excessive flows caused by runoff created in Snohomish County.

Before County Council proceeds with land acquisition for this project, it should make sure that this project is feasible without its environmental harm adequately mitigated. This will require additional property to be acquired to mitigate for wetland and wildlife habitat loss. These costs have yet to be identified. Please do not proceed with a project that is likely fatally flawed, before identifying the costs to truly mitigate its impacts.

If the County Council approves motion 21-090, Public Works will use the money spent as an excuse to continue the project, placing the County in the position of having to complete a fatally flawed project.

SKWC respectfully requests your NO vote on motion 21-090. Thank you for your attention to these comments.

Respectfully submitted, LIDER ENGINEERING, PLLC
William M. Lider, PE, CESCL Principal Engineer
SKWC Board Member

cc: SKWC Board

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