Jul 28, 2014
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Residents Explain Bike Park Objections

A 14-day appeal period for the project's site plan entitlement application began Wednesday.

Residents Explain Bike Park Objections

Editor's note: This post is a follow-up to an earlier story that focused on the city's response to the possibility of an appeal to the bike park plans. For a more thorough representation of city officials' perspective on the project, please .

Parking, safety and tree removal are among the top concerns expressed by residents who live near the proposed Redmond Bike Park, according to a series of official complaints submitted to the city and obtained by Redmond Patch.

During a three-week public comment period for the project's site plan entitlement application, the city received 10 positive, 10 negative and two responses that contained questions about the park, said Carolyn Hope, a senior park planner for the City of Redmond. That public comment period ended last week, and a 14-day appeal period began Wednesday, Hope said.

Last week, concerns about a potential appeal that would have marked the beginning of construction at the two-acre park, which would be located in a wooded area within .

Harold Zeitz, who lives on 174th Court Northeast, said he is not completely opposed to the idea of a bike park in the neighborhood but would want it located in a different area of Hartman Park that would not require any trees to be removed.

“I’m going to do whatever I can to prevent this from happening," Zeitz said in a phone interview with Redmond Patch. "If that means I have to appeal it, then I’ll appeal it.”

In an email to Zeitz that was also shared with Patch, Hope said the project will involve the removal of 30 "significant trees," including 26 trees that were deemed dead or damaged by an arborist. Hope also said the city will replace the removed trees with 34 new trees, 162 tall shrubs, 382 short shrubs and 1,114 square feet of ground cover.

"This planting plan was designed to address concerns of neighbors by creating a green screen between adjacent neighbors and the park," Hope said in the email. "It will also improve the conditions between the trails in the woods where there has been digging and damage to plants and trees over the years."

Another resident who lives on Northeast 98th Court said she believes the additional planting will not be adequate to shield nearby homes from additional park activity and noise. The resident, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation from park supporters, said she is also worried the park will attract unknown kids who don't live in the neighborhood and make it impossible for her 8-year-old daughter to enjoy the park in the same way she now does.

Bikers have illegally built their own jumps in Hartman Park for years, and some residents said they are upset the city is legitimizing that behavior. But others, including the resident on Northeast 98th Court, said they prefer having the existing use because it typically only draws kids from the surrounding neighborhood.

“I have no issues with the park ... it’s a good spot for them to ride their bikes," the resident said. "But the fact that it’s expanding to such a degree … is pretty upsetting.”

Mark Brenner, who also lives near the proposed site and filed a complaint with the city, said he is concerned the bike park will become dominated by older kids from other areas, which he said is what his 13-year-old son frequently encounters at .

“He goes in the morning purposefully so the older kids aren’t there to kick him out,” Brenner said.

The project's site guidelines indicate the park will include features for riders of all levels, as well as a new exterior trail for walkers and beginning cyclists.

As for parking, the city has said all bike park users will be directed to park in the general parking areas within Hartman Park and patrols for illegally parked vehicles on nearby neighborhood streets will be increased. Several residents, however, are unconvinced those measures will be adequate.

As of Thursday morning, no one has filed an appeal to the site entitlement plan, Hope said.

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