Letters to the Editor

Cottage housing threatens Mirror Lake | Letters

I, as a Mirror Lake resident, am outraged that you gave Bill McCaffrey a half page of free advertising for his proposed cottage housing project.

This has been a contentious proposition from the start, and will continue to be so until he can demonstrate to the satisfaction of Mirror Lake residents that the project will not adversely affect the quality of Mirror Lake.

As your article points out, he hopes to “pioneer” a type of housing in South King County. His pioneering spirit may be laudable, but for a new type of high density residential community, his choice of site is exceptionally flawed.

The site is on a hill directly above Mirror Lake, which drains straight into the lake. The lake is spring fed, and the residents have worked diligently over the years to protect and improve the quality of the water. This proposed high density residential development on a hill above the lake, with its inherent erosion issues, is a serious threat to the quality of the lake.

The developer’s concept of using rain gardens and “low-impact development” for water retention is fine in the planning, but we have not seen a plan for maintenance of such gardens or enforcement of the drainage controls after the developer is long gone.

We are also concerned about control of erosion during construction, after the site is logged off. It is currently a heavily wooded site, which protects the lake from runoff. The removal of these large trees would leave the site open to draining sediment straight into the lake, affecting water quality and permanently raising lake levels. And the city’s current requirements regarding replacing the trees are not adequate to replace the erosion protection that the current tree density offers.

All of these factors threaten our lake quality, and we will be forced to live with the repercussions of this development long after the developer is gone.

The residents of Mirror Lake see this proposed high density development as a direct threat to this lake. Such threat could be avoided by siting this “pioneer” project in a less ecologically sensitive area.

Eden R. Toner, Federal Way

 

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