Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Participatory Democracy

The guy who owns the land across the street from our home wasn't paying attention when the County reconfigured the roads.  He's now left with a landlocked 12 acres and no access roads.

Our neighborhood won a lawsuit against him when he sued to use the allowed for one home existing on the premises driveway opposite my front door for a mega-development... with a school bus stop right there

that would replace this view from my desk.

We won that battle, though it took our Neighborhood Association's entire bank balance to do so.  

He came back again, this time with fewer houses.  We went back and forth and his planner listened and tried to accommodate us but that pesky driveway sending 600 cars a day through the streets that wind through our quiet, 80 home neighborhood was always a non-starter.  

He built a driveway out to the street through an as yet un-developed commercial parcel.  That would have been fine, had the driveway not poured its contents into a blind curve just after a traffic light where cars are revving up to enjoy the long, smooth road ahead.  

It was an accident waiting to happen, and his traffic study agreed, estimating that there would be 1-3 accidents per year if the plan were approved.  Considering that there have been zero accidents at that corner since I've lived here, that was somewhat alarming.

So the neighborhood busy bodies met and planned and strategized and kept up with continuances and then the virus forced us to meet outside and then the final hearing was scheduled for today, Tuesday, in the County Supervisors' meeting room.  Some of the men ventured to the venue, expressing themselves in person.  Some of us stayed home, watching on the computer and listening on our phones.... or maybe doing them both from the same device but I knew I could make my system work.  

With everything plugged in, we watched democracy in action for a couple of hours and then our issue came up and we spoke and they spoke and there were a lot more of us on our side than he had on his.  

We had so many comments previously submitted that he had to win by a super-majority: 4 out of 5. Our Supervisor made the motion, another seconded it, and there we were.  The Clerk said That's it, then, and moved on to Item 28.

Texting with another busy body who was also participating from home I wondered Did we just win?????

Apparently, we did. 

Seven years of worry led to this moment, and this moment is good.

Then, I heard Joe Biden speak at Gettysburg, and realized at the end of it all that my shoulders were out of my ears for the first time in 4 years.  I felt some hope, some peace, some sense of calm.

Sure, it might be the larger dose of Sertraline, but I prefer to give credit to today's events.  I'm going to watch Mark Kelly debate Martha McSally and continue to enjoy my winning streak.  I hope you, too, are having a wonderful day.


  1. Congratulations on your court victory. When we lived in Issaquah, a developer wanted to build on the ridge line and redirect the rain water (it rains 9 months out of the year) in to our back yards. That's a non-starter and we won. So, is this decision final, it is over for good?

    1. Yes. This plan, using his driveway for 55 houses, is kaput.


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