LETTER | Seaplane Decision is Rushed; Needs More Citizen Input

Dear Editor:

On April 8, 2016  the city of Kirkland received an application for permission to establish a float plane business and port at Carrillon point.  The city deemed the application  was complete on May 9, 2016.  The City's planning and Building dep't will make make a recommendation to the City's Hearing Examiner who will ultimately make the initial decision, as to whether it meets Kirkland's building codes. The final decision will be made by  the State Dep't of Ecology.  As for the city, they have have reviewed the proposal for"probable adverse environmental impacts and expects to issue a determination of non significance" (DNS)  Read this as a green light  from the city on environmental issues which should expedite the approval process. This not all.  If you wish to comment to the Planning and Building Dept. who will present their recommendations  to the  project planner, you must write them prior to June 20.  There will ultimately be a public hearing which will be announced. 

Now if the city has concluded there are no significant environmental issues what's to stop this?

This is our environment and we believe we should have a say in this proposal in what could affect us all.  Let's ask a few questions.

WHAT'S THE RUSH?  The city receives the application on April 8, the city deems the application to be complete on May 9th, the city says it expects to issue a DNS meaning no environmental impact statement required and written comments to the planning dep't must be submitted by June 20. (Likely before you read this.)  This is most certainly an inadequate window of time for the citizens of this community to hear/read about this issue, discuss the pro's and con's and express those opinions in time to have those opinions count. 

Where does the planning dep't department get the authority to say that there are no environmental issues by issuing a DNS?  Remember The Potala project over 4 years ago? That building was also declared a DNS project.  The public outcry caused the city to revise and an environmental impact was required and ultimately a rezone was enacted by the council.  This is risky business and indicates a slow learning curve.

Let's look at this issue from many of the residents' point of view. Many of the people who live on or near Lake Washington do so for specific reasons such as beauty, peace and solace and tranquillity from the workaday  world.  As I read the letters to the editor the primary issue is noise.  Since I also am adjacent to the Lake, I also hear the daily sounds of pleasure boats, swimmers, fishermen and etc.  I certainly do not equate these noises with aircraft which are much noisier. This proposal will allow far more than a few businessmen flying out of Carillon.  These planes will be sightseeing aircraft and will proliferate.  Weekends even now have become significantly busy and frequent.  These planes, if allowed, will also present a threat to slower moving boats, water skiers, and other water sports.  Think the Blue Angels traffic!

Finally, Lake Union has a float plane harbor and is close at hand for business people and sightseers.  This proposed project is extremely rushed and poorly planned in my opinion. I would ask for a hiatus on this project until you have done due diligence by involving the citizens of this city.


J.F. Rogers