Letters to the Editor

North Shore and Twin Lakes | Federal Way letters

Twin Lakes golf course will become just like North Shore! Whoops, never mind.

Until recently our fearless leaders on the Twin Lakes Homeowners Association board and Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club board used the proposed redevelopment of the North Shore Golf Course as the example of how the Twin Lakes Golf Course land would be redeveloped with houses, condos, etc.

However, the use of North Shore by these Twin Lakes boards has drastically changed since the City of Tacoma hearing examiner denied all aspects of the proposed redevelopment plan of the North Shore Golf Course. (The link to the Tacoma News Tribune article on this decision is here.)

All of a sudden, North Shore is no longer important according to the Twin Lakes boards. "It is entirely different" says a pamphlet from the wife of a Twin Lakes HOA board member.

The way North Shore is now being used is the implication that the only reason the redevelopment was denied was due to the money residents spent in legal fees fighting this case; and that if we do not support the proposed Twin Lakes "benefit agreement" we too will have to spend huge amounts of money fighting against redevelopment!

The Twin Lakes HOA and golf club boards should try reading the hearing examiner's 21-page decision.

One of the key reasons the proposed redevelopment of North Shore Golf Course was denied was the redevelopment plan sought to remove the open space requirement that was agreed to at the time the North Shore Golf Course and adjacent houses were built. The hearing examiner discussed how keeping the golf course as open space was an original condition for the approval of the houses at North Shore being built.

North Shore is similar to Twin Lakes in that to obtain the zoning to build the Twin Lakes neighborhood, the developer was required to set aside the golf course land as open space.

The Washington State Supreme Court case between Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club versus King County says the following:

• The ordinances adopted by the county required the developer to construct a golf course and to reserve it for common open space and golf course use for the benefit of the lot owners of the development;

• The plat maps were recorded by the developer and indicated that the property would remain open space land, free of buildings and other structures;

• The country club cannot alter the present recreational use of the open space.

The Twin Lakes HOA board has tried to discount, minimize or ignore this Supreme Court case which is about our golf course land.

One of the board members suggested this Supreme Court case on our neighborhood is not relevant because the case was about the assessed value and real estate taxes associated with the Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club. (As if the purpose of the lawsuit changes the land use restrictions agreed to prior to the development of Twin Lakes.)

This is like saying "the police can't use the dead body plainly visible in the back seat of my car against me as evidence because they stopped me for speeding."

The lesson of the denial of the proposed development of the North Shore Golf Course is that land use restrictions created many, many years ago are still very relevant in regards to decisions made regarding these properties today.

Philip Pinkstaff, Twin Lakes

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