This is a guest post by Sandy Henderson, a Redmond resident who poses questions about the health concerns that may negatively affect residents of the neighborhood near the planned “162Ten” project. This is just one of many concerns that need to be addressed before this project can be acceptable to the neighboring community and local residents.
Dear fellow activists,
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my personal priorities regarding Project 162TEN and my uneasiness that they’ve been lost in the shuffle. As a resident of the neighborhood near the project, I wrote a protest letter to Gary Lee re: health and safety concerns that my neighbors and I have about the project. Because I did not fully understand the appeal process, we lost the opportunity to be an appellant. Fortunately I was given the opportunity to be a witness testifying to the health and safety issues of current residents.
Since the hearing, building/property preservation has taken center stage with a lot of media coverage and citizen discussion. But issues of neighborhood residents are not being aired. I am told that these issues may not be mentioned at the final hearing at all. I have also become aware that the Nokomis building is a negative “hot button” for some vocal members of the public.
So, I’m redirecting my energy to raise citizen awareness of the neighborhood concerns. I see this as a both/and choice, not either/or. I want to assure both the residents’ and Nokomis concerns are fairly conveyed to the public.
I’m adding another element to the approach:
Resident issues need to be heard clearly by the public as an important stand-alone subject apart from the history.
Every conversation we have about the project should make reference to the current people affected AND the property.
Library staff has approved my picketing outside the front (parking lot) Redmond library entrance with a 2-sided placard.
My focus in conversations will be on the health and safety of area residents
I’ll answer Nokomis questions as enthusiastically and accurately as possible and re-direct to the Nokomis website.
Please feel free to join me!
City Project 162TEN (APPL NO. LAND-2015-00746)
- Demolish Redmond’s first permanent library which
- During the Great Depression, was envisioned by women of the Redmond Nokomis Club
- Was built with WPA funds obtained by women of the Redmond Nokomis Club
- Employed out-of-work craftsmen for construction
- Housed the donated personal book collections of the Nokomis Club women.
2. Erect a 5-story micro-apartment building with 96 units and 26 parking spaces.
On July 10, 2015 the City of Redmond conducted a hearing to address appeals that challenged the proposed project located at 16210 NE 80th St. The hearing was conducted by Sharon A. Rice, a professional hearing examiner under contract to and paid by the City of Redmond to conduct such hearings. (Complete hearing content, findings and conclusions can be obtained from the Planning Department at Redmond City Hall). Historic preservation has been widely discussed in the community.
Testimony also was given regarding the adverse effects that demolition, excavation, construction and the completed building would have on the health, safety and well-being of current neighborhood residents.
- Many area residents are seniors with health issues, including lung cancer, chronic bronchitis/COPD, asthma, eye problems aggravated by air pollution, mobility issues. Health issues will likely be further aggravated by living in the dust, fumes, noise, debris of a construction zone for the next 2-3 years,
- Many residents are regular walkers, but accessibility to safe walkways will be obstructed.
- Parking is already at a premium with overflow from the Transit Center into private parking areas and onto narrow NE 81st St.
- Daylight and airflow will be permanently obstructed.
- Close proximity of the proposed and existing buildings will adversely affect privacy of current residents.
- City transparency about the project has been a problem. Requests for project documentation were made but waivers, deviations, specs were not provided.
- The Nokomis building was constructed in the 1930s, when lead paint and asbestos insulation were the norm and mold is likely. City assurances have been given that all abatement laws would be followed for demolition. Yet, without approval to continue the project or apparent regulatory oversight, hazardous material abatement vans and personnel have been observed on the property and exiting the building with full garbage bags. Electrical work has also been done, leaving exposed wires dangling within reach of passersby. These actions leave serious doubt about project transparency
All appeal issues were denied. The examiner’s report stated:
“Conclusions Based on Findings:
With regard to both appeals, evidence that is not cited in the findings was found not to be relevant to applicable decisions and/or appeal criteria…“
Meaning –Testimony specific to current residents and to health concerns of people living in the neighborhood for many years, were “FOUND NOT TO BE RELEVANT”!!!
The FINAL APPEAL will be at the City Council meeting on Dec 1, 2015, 7pm.
Help stop Redmond Project 162TEN!
Attend the FINAL APPEAL at the City Council meeting on Dec 1, 2015, 7pm.
Write a letter(s) of protest to:
Mayor John Marchione firstname.lastname@example.org 425-556-2101
Mayoral candidate Steve Fields info@ElectSteveFields.com 425-898-3618
City Council members
Kimberly Allen email@example.com 425.556.2902
David Carson firstname.lastname@example.org 425.556.2113
Tom Flynn email@example.com 425.556.2156
Dayle (Hank) Margeson firstname.lastname@example.org 425.556.2116
Hank Myers email@example.com 425.429.3454
Byron Shutz firstname.lastname@example.org 425-556-2143
John Stilin email@example.com 425.556.2114
Make a tax deductible donation to help with legal and appeal costs at
Nokomis Club of Redmond
P.O. Box 7012
Bellevue, WA 98008-1012
Click the menu symbol in the upper right corner
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Search: historic Redmond
Make a “STOP 162TEN” poster and place it safely and legally on your own property.
Join a protest picket line at:
- The Redmond Main library to support neighborhood residents, and/or
- The corner of 161st and Redmond Way weekdays 3-6pm to support historic preservation