Council votes Tuesday on wakeboard park permits
Hearing examiner rejects resident’s appeal
MONROE - The city’s hearing examiner rejected a resident’s appeal of the environmental review of the cable wakeboard park and also recommended the approval of the project’s shoreline and conditional use permit.
The City Council is scheduled to consider the hearing examiner’s recommendation at its Tuesday, Dec. 18 meeting. Should the council approve the permits, the project will go to the state Department of Ecology for review.
The city entered into an agreement with H30 in June to build a cable wakeboard park on Lake Tye. The park will take up 17 acres of the 42-acre lake’s south end.
Monroe resident Diane Elliott challenged the city’s environmental review of the project and a hearing was held on both the appeal and the permit applications last month.
Hearing examiner Carl Cox ruled Elliott failed to prove the city’s review was “clearly erroneous.” Cox said state law puts the burden on Elliott to prove the city made a serious error.
Cox, though, did agree with Elliott’s assertion that the guy wires holding up the project’s six towers could prove hazardous to birds.
The hearing examiner added a condition to H30’s permit, requiring the company to install bird diverters on or parallel to the cables and guy wires during the offseason, which would be Nov. 1 through April 1.
Elliott has 21 business days from the date of the decision to appeal the ruling. As of press time, she was unsure of her next move.
“I haven’t made up my mind yet, although there does seem to be a lot of fertile ground upon which to appeal,” Elliott said.
Elliott’s appeal was based on three main assertions. The assertions were the impacts on wildlife would be detrimental to the lake’s ecosystem, that the wakeboard park would adversely affect the livability of the Lake Tye Park neighborhood and that the wake action from the sport would negatively impact other “more passive” recreation such as swimming and fishing.
Elliott was “particularly persuasive” in one area of her appeal, Cox wrote in his decision.
“Appellant makes a compelling case that placing towers, cables, and guy support lines over the water will result in an increased likelihood of avian collisions,” Cox wrote.
At the Dec. 11 City Council meeting, Mayor Robert Zimmerman said he was “very pleased with the hearing examiner’s decision.”
The project includes erecting six cable towers and building a 2,500-square-foot facility to house ticket and retail sales, restrooms, lockers and an office. In exchange for using the public lake, H30 will pay the city rent and a portion of ticket sales.
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