Ebright Creek Park Time Line

 

Prepared by Marianne Wilkins and Mary Doerrer

 

 

April 13, 2002

The City of Sammamish places newspaper adds for bids for park design.

 

August 26, 2002  

Minutes from the park board meeting indicate that 3 options for Ebright Creek Park include a formal field plan, a sports field plan and a sports meadow plan. The sports field plan and the sports meadow plan did not contain formal ball fields.

 

September 16, 2002.

Minutes from the park board state “The Council reviewed the preliminary plan option for the Ebright Creek Park site and requested a greater emphasis on multi-use sports fields at the property.  The three concept plans will be revised to reflect that direction.”

 

October 14, 2002

At the first public meeting for Ebright Creek Park (ECP) 3 options, all including formal ball fields, were presented. Alternatives without formal ball fields were not made available to the public.

 

Between October and December 2002

            The two remaining public meetings were cancelled as deemed unnecessary by the

city staff. These 2 public meetings were re-instated after the public questioned  and then demanded they be allowed to view and discuss the plans for the park  at an open meeting. These 2 meetings were re-scheduled for Feb. 3, 2003 and Feb. 5, 2003.

 

December 2002

The preferred Master Plan for ECP with formal ball fields was created.

 

January 21, 2003

The City Council approved a contract with Wiscomb Landscape Architecture Services for Ebright Creek Park Design & Construction at a cost not to exceed $199,882.00. When Friends of Pine Lake (FOPL) asked when the City Council voted on the preferred Master Plan for Ebright Creek Park, they were given this date and council meeting. In effect the council was requesting detailed designs for ECP even though the 2 public meetings still had not taken place. A State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist had not been started.

 

 

January 2003 – June 2003

Neighbors and Friends of Pine Lake gave public comments every month at the City Council Meetings to make changes in the Ebright Creek Park Plan. (a report on an alternative site for athletic fields at The Commons with less environmental impact were given to the City by a landscape architect hired by FOPL). The ECP site is simply too narrow and too environmentally sensitive for placement of athletic fields. 

 

February 3rd, 2003  and February 5, 2003

The second and third public meetings for ECP were held.  These were the meetings that were cancelled in December 2002 and rescheduled after public demand. Note – The Preferred Master plan for ECP was already contracted for detailed design work.(The information sheet circulated by the parks department said these 2 meetings were for the public to view the plans--not for changes).

 

April 4, 2003

Friends of Pine Lake hired J. Richard Aramburu, land-use attorney, to remind the city of its duty to focus on meaningful environmental review.  There is still no SEPA checklist available.  Attorney Aramburu submitted a

5 page letter detailing the city’s responsibility according to state law. 

 

 SEPA rules require that agencies consider environmental information (impacts, alternatives, and mitigation) before committing to a particular course of action (WAC 197-11-055(2)(c).

 

The city had contracted for detail design work in an amount not to exceed $199,882.00 on January 21, 2003 with no environmental review.

 

 SEPA rules encourage public involvement in decisions (WAC 197-11-030(2)(f).

 

Pubic meetings for Ebright Park were held after the decision for detail work had been contracted out.

 

 SEPA rules direct agencies to integrate SEPA with agency activities at the earliest possible time to ensure that planning and decisions reflect environmental values, avoid delays later in the process, and seek to resolve potential problems (WAC 197-11-055(2).

 

The SEPA checklist had not been started at the time of approval for the detailed design work.

 

The city responded to attorney Aramburu’s letter in the media, stating all laws were being followed. A SEPA checklist had not been completed, yet the city continued with the detailed  design work to create biddable documents for  ECP.

 

 

June 3rd, 2003

An environmental checklist was finally completed by the City.  Detailed design for the park had been completed with 80 - 90% of the documents ready for bidding.

  

June 26 – July 16, 2003 SEPA Public Comment Period

Numerous, technical, and thoughtful written comments were submitted by many citizens of Sammamish.  Included in the comments was a Sound Study by SSA Acoustics, LLP dated July 15, 2003 prepared for Friends Of Pine Lake. This study indicated that to mitigate the ‘severe’ noise from the ball fields, from the neighbors, that the “”backstop”, “home plate” and the baseball “diamond” has to be moved more than 220 feet towards the north.”.  Space constraints would prohibit this change. 

 

August 6, 2003

City enters into an agreement for services with JGL Acoustics; Inc to (1) review the noise study by SSA Acoustics prepared for the Friends of Pine Lake and (2) conduct an independent noise study of the proposed development at a cost of $4500.00.

 

August 7, 2003

The SEPA Determination was completed on August 7, 2003 with a SEPA determination of non significance (DNS).

 

SEPA comments were not adequately addressed in the SEPA staff report for this project.

Most flagrant was the lack of response to the sound study by SSA Acoustics, LLP dated July 15, 2003 prepared for Friends of Pine Lake. The study was submitted during the comment period.    The city’s staff report on the DNS failed to consider any noise from the ball fields or the SSA study in their determination, other than construction noise.

 

 In addition, the SEPA staff report from the City, indicates that “an acceptable wetland and stream and buffer mitigation/monitoring plan dated July 23, 2003 was prepared by B-Twelve Associates, Inc….”.  Please note that this plan is completed after the public comment period, so in effect the public has not had a chance to view or comment on this plan.  There is no effective review process in place. 

 

 The city staff report also references a letter dated August 6th, 2003 that changes the drain field location of the park from one end to the other.  Again, the public has not had a chance to review this change since it was after the public comment period.  The new drain field location is closer to Ebright Creek and pipes must cross the creek to reach the drain field.

 

 

 

August 21, 2003

Friends of Pine Lake and Dan DeFranco give notice of appeal on the DNS dated August 7, 2003 on the SEPA threshold determination for ECP.

 

August 28, 2003

The Friends of Pine Lake and Dan DeFranco submitted the detailed statement of appeal, for the previously filed notice of appeal.

 

September 3rd, 2003

Public records request was submitted by Dan DeFranco for the noise study conducted by JGL Acoustics for the City at Ebright Creek Park.

 

September 5th, 2003

The City assigned John Galt, Hearing examiner for the ECP appeal.

 

September 9th, 2003

A Notice of Stay in Proceedings pending action on the underlying clearing and grading permit by the City and filing of any appeals there from was issued by John Galt, Hearing Examiner Pro Tempore.

 

September 22, 2003

Letter from Dan DeFranco and FOPL to The Honorable John Galt, Hearing Examiner c/o of the City of Sammamish, requesting “the Examiner order the city to produce all reports, whether in draft or final form, they have received from JGL Acoustics Inc.”

 

 The city is circumventing public disclosure laws by not releasing the information requested.  As citizens, it is our right to request and receive any documents that the city has contracted for, regardless if they are in draft or final form.

 

September 22, 2003

Mr. Dan DeFranco received a call from that city at 4:45 PM stating the JGL report was available for him.    Mr. DeFranco picked up the report but was only given 13 of 15 pages of the report. They were stamped “draft”.  

 

September 24, 2003

Mr. DeFranco was told the sound report is ready.  He picked up the report which contained all 15 pages.  It was not on letterhead and unsigned. It was not stamped draft.

 

We still need a signed copy before quoting from this report.

 

 

 

October 2, 2003

Received a copy of the JGL sound study on their letterhead with a cover letter          signed by Jerry Lilly.

 

 

September 29, 2003

            Notice of Decision of the type 2 Clearing and Grading Permit Approval

 

 

October 20, 2003

Appeal of the Clearing and Grading Permit for Ebright Creek Park by Richard Aramburu representing Friends of Pine Lake and Dan DeFranco

 

November 4th 2003

Elections held. Candidates Mark Cross, Nancy Whitten were elected and Michelle Petitti was reelected.  Councilman Troy Romero resigned. Lee Fellinge was appointed to take his position in December.

 

 

November 7, 2003

Prehearing Conference was held. The prehearing conference will be continued on December 2, 2003. Several depository motions were put forth by Rick Aramburu that need to be resolved. This includes whether the City of Sammamish is following its own code that does not allow for trails in the wetlands and buffers. The zoning code does not allow structures or service areas within 50’ of property lines. The city also failed to do a concurrency analysis. Alterations of wetlands/wetland buffer are not allowed if alternatives with lesser impact exist.

 

 

November 19th 2003

City withdrew its clearing and grading permit for EBright Creek Park.

Ilene sent the following to all of us on November 20th 2003.

 

“Dear Autumn,
        Friends of Pine Lake, Dan DeFranco and Neighbors of Ebright Creek
Park would like to announce that the city is withdrawing its clearing and
grading permit for Ebright Creek Park.!   Yesterday, City attorney Bruce
Disend called our attorney Rick Aramburu to say that he would not argue
against our motions that charged the city with violating its own code in
plans for the park.  He told Rick that Dan DeFranco and Friends of Pine
Lake President Ilene Stahl would be getting a call from Ben Yazici soon,
apologizing on behalf of the city.  (Mr. Disend told Rick that Ben Yazici
was misled by staff!)  However when I called the city this morning, Ben
Yazici had flown to Turkey for a vacation and would not return until
December 1.


        This means that the SEPA appeal is on hold until new designs for

the park are approved.  We are hoping that a passive design will be
implemented which will take into account city codes and respect for the
endangered Kokanee Salmon of Ebright Creek.  Now that the early run
Kokanee in Issaquah Creek are officially extinct, we hope the City of
Sammamish, Washington Fish and Wildlife and King County, along with other
cities, can work together to save this rare species from the same fate. …

 The city has spent more than $200,000
in planning Ebright Park.
Ilene Stahl
425-392-0556”

 

Jan – April 2004

The city has agreed to a new process for Ebright Creek Park design.  They are planning to have an open house on the site and then send out a survey to residents.  We are concerned that they are not taking constraints of the site into account.  If that happens we will be back with our appeal.  We have presented suggestions, to the council, of activities that could be held at the park, instead of ball fields.

 

April 13, 2004

Obtained the Winter Perk test for Ebright Creek Park.  The East half of the lot failed the winter water check.  The west half of the site passed.  I asked Hope Gibson if  this meant the site was suitable for 500 kids a day or for 1 home.  She said the same test is used in either case.  She wants to move ahead with the survey before any further plans for septic are made.