LETTER | Crusade against Potala/Aqua continues

PotalaVillageviewfromLakeStreetLakeWashingtongBlvd Dear Editor:


It appears that Lobsang Dargey's team has hired for a new traffic study and one of the points being made is that the driveway location at the south end of the property (where public works policies do not allow a driveway) is no worse than putting a driveway in the middle of the development along Lake St S (also a location disallowed by city policies).


Isn't that like saying that although 60 miles per hour is not allowed on the boulevard, 62 miles per hour is proven to not cause any more danger so 62 is to be allowed (when both are against the rules)?


The study done has numerous other flaws mostly just leaving out the real issues:


The developer has NEVER shown that a driveway cannot be built on 10th Ave S as indicated by public works from the beginning.  In fact, most of the property line along 10th fits the requirements for driveway placement.  It is fully possible to meet the setback, offset and spacing requirements and line of sight requirements.  There is no issue of these requirements making the land completely unusable.  As a matter of fact, all the other corner developments (also up a sloped incline) have put their driveways onto the side street since the 1960s as a requirement of the city.

2)  The new study completely ignores any mention of the driveways across the street

and the public works required offset.  This is in spite of the fact that every

development from across the street has written letters and emails, testified in front

of the planning commission and the city council and picketed to make sure that the

city enforces its own "required" driveway offset policy.  Neighbors have even asked

for the more protective "recommended" driveway offset.  Since clearly the proposed

driveways both conflict with the requirement that "Developments must meet the

city's driveway policies." .... Well, it appears the developer had the consultants

ignore this important detail (likely did not give the information to the consultant.)

3)   As the citizens previously commented, the pneumatic tubes do not provide

adequate information on "safe gaps."  So the newest study was done with the

appropriate video tape. Citizens were on-site during the days of the study and

observed no safe gaps during the peak PM.  The consultant comments that when

there were not gaps drivers were to be provided "polite" or "courtesy" gaps by those

in queue.  Needing to rely on "courtesy" or "polite" gaps means that the industry

required "safe gap" has failed.  Additionally, citizens have alerted in an email with

over 250 signatures that "courtesy" and allowing cars to safely ingress or egress is

no longer happening along Lake St S.  This is because the queue has become so

long and is so slow that drivers are unwilling to allow an additional car to add to their



This letter to the editor is also being forwarded to the City Council and to Staff.  The developer is asking the city to "be reasonable" about the driveway situation.  What is reasonable is that when there are rules they are enforced.  Anything else is arbitrary and capricious handling and preferential treatment, especially in this situation where others have been told their driveways must follow the city policies and that driveways (even for a 2 unit building) must be onto the side street and not onto LWB/Lake St S.


It is also reasonable for all to understand that city documents refer to subject property when they detail "property on the southwest corner of Lake St S and 10th Ave S."  City documents describe the ingress and egress problem of the particular site and state that development of commercial uses should be "limited" but should be allowed to remain because it serves the neighbors (e.g. folks that can walk there and not require ingress and egress).


The only thing that is reasonable is to obey the city policies and respect what is known about ingress and egress difficulties at the site.  It is NOT reasonable to say that one disallowed site doesn't create any more problems that the first disallowed site .... and somehow weave this into permission for either disallowed location.




Karen Levenson

On behalf of "One Neighborhood Block"

On behalf of "S.T.O.P. (Support The Ordinances & Plan)

On behalf of "Citizens Providing NOTICE of Unsafe Ingress and Egress onto Lake St S/Lake Washington Blvd, City's Duty To Correct Known Dangerous Conditions"