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otterend
Splat Wheeler
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  Quote otterend Replybullet Topic: MM Access - Tanner Road
    Posted: 26 Dec 2014 at 5:59am
The permitting process is well underway to allow several dozen homes to be built at Tanner Road exactly at the location of the MM Snoqualmie takeout.

A public hearing is set for January 8 at 3:30 PM at the Mount Si Senior Center for 411 Main Avenue S., North Bend, Washington.

The City of North Bend released a staff report last week that suggests (a) the river access will be preserved, but (b) the current off-road parking will be replaced by on-street parking. The maps show (I think) curbs and sidewalks installed on both sides of Tanner road, eliminating the shoulder pull outs where boaters now park and stage shuttles. The developer also is proposing to give to the City of North Bend a parcel of land on the river-side of Tanner that runs from the road to the river. North Bend presumably could develop that land for a park, land use restrictions permitting.

A few challenges are presented. The elimination of off-street parking, substituting curb-side parking, creates a potential safety hazard from passing cars. There also is a reduction in the amount of parking, as we would need to parallel park, rather than pull in diagonally as we currently do with ample room to move around boats and gear. Then, of course, there is the NIMBY potential that arises when the soon-to-arrive homeowners encounter boaters (who have used this access point for decades). We will be staging and parking in their front yard. Heaven forbid a post-run libation were shared.

As North Bend considers its decision on permits, the boating community should weigh in. If you can make the public hearing, numbers count. Show up and say something.

Again, a public hearing is set for January 8 at 3:30 PM at the Mount Si Senior Center for 411 Main Avenue S., North Bend, Washington.

Chris

********Also, SEND A LETTER. HERE'S SUGGESTED TEXT *******

[insert date]

Mike McCarty
Senior Planner
North Bend Community and Economic Development Department
126 E. Fourth Street
North Bend, WA
98045

Re:      Proposed Residential Subdivision - SE Tanner Road

Dear Mr. McCarty:

Please accept this letter as my public comment on the proposed residential subdivision on SE Tanner Road. I am a whitewater kayaker.

Regarding the proposed subdivision on SE Tanner Road, mitigation efforts should be required to preserve longstanding recreational access to the Middle Middle section of the Snoqualmie River. Specifically, the access located at Tanner Road should be preserved. Additionally, an integral part of ensuring continuing access for river recreation includes the preservation of currently-existing off-road parking. Any permits should be conditioned on the developer’s undertaking of appropriate mitigation measures to replace any reduction of current boater-access parking by mandating that the developer acquire and develop a parking lot adjacent to the Tanner Road access that would accommodate boater vehicles, including rigs with raft trailers.

Thank you.

[insert name and address]


Edited by otterend - 26 Dec 2014 at 6:02am
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  Quote burn Replybullet Posted: 26 Dec 2014 at 7:47pm
Thanks Chris .I will send this letter and attempt to go to the meeting ,and I second your call for boaters to rally around this issue.
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  Quote okeefe Replybullet Posted: 06 Jan 2015 at 7:06pm
Note that written comments are due tomorrow and must be received by 4:30pm. The public hearing is Thursday afternoon. Here is the public notice:

http://northbendwa.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=2209

As Chris notes above, a good showing will be very helpful.

You can review the staff report here:

http://northbendwa.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=2210

Note in particular the section on Parking on Page 6 and Item 23 on Page 16 which also discusses parking. Some accommodations have been made but a little more work can be done. Note that it describes our use, that dates back decades, as "informal river access".

I will submit comments on behalf of American Whitewater but a strong showing from the boating community at the hearing will help to elevate the importance of making sure public access to the river is addressed.
Thomas O'Keefe
PNW Stewardship Director
American Whitewater
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  Quote JeffR Replybullet Posted: 06 Jan 2015 at 7:59pm
Any idea how many cars the gravel shoulders can currently accommodate (assuming angled parking on the east side)?

Or how much parking we should ask them to provide?
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  Quote okeefe Replybullet Posted: 06 Jan 2015 at 8:43pm
Good question. Here's a photo on a busy day in the spring. I would guess there were about 30 cars there.

http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Photo/detail/photoid/884663/

I don't think we need that many as King County and North Bend will in theory get their act together to develop Tanner Landing Park about half a mile downstream with good access and facilities. However, when we did the river access concept plan we identified the need for continued access at Tanner Road (the current access) in addition to new access at Tanner Landing (as yet undeveloped).

You can review the plan here:
http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Document/view/documentid/188/
Thomas O'Keefe
PNW Stewardship Director
American Whitewater
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  Quote otterend Replybullet Posted: 07 Jan 2015 at 5:11am
Boaters:

Can you join us on Thursday afternoon in North Bend? There is a planning department hearing on a proposed housing development for 156 new homes that will have the effect of reducing boater access to the MM by eliminating a substantial amount of the current parking.

It is crucially important that boaters show up to request that the City maintain current access to the River. North Bend residents are particularly important.

A public hearing is set for Thursday, January 8 at 3:30 PM at the Mount Si Senior Center for 411 Main Avenue S., North Bend, Washington.

Edited by otterend - 07 Jan 2015 at 8:12am
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ReneeCP
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  Quote ReneeCP Replybullet Posted: 07 Jan 2015 at 9:41pm
Links to documents by North Bend and AW comments can be found at

https://wakayakclub.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=5&club_id=821680&item_id=27398


Please try to attend the hearing. Please note that at this time comments must be filed in triplicate in person at the hearing. They have requested that comments be as specific as possible. Thank you! We made awesome progress on this issue!
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  Quote otterend Replybullet Posted: 09 Jan 2015 at 6:59am
It turned out to be an interesting evening last night in North Bend. The hearing on the proposed subdivision at Tanner Road (156 homes) went from 3:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. That sounds like a long time … and it was … but the presentations by the public were interesting and many. The three issues were traffic impacts, elk, and boater access. The traffic is a serious issue. A discussion was developed on the concerns by the neighboring communities on both sides of Seagale development. Obviously, existing residents on either side really do not want another car coming through their neighborhood. But fire and safety codes seem to require the new community to be accessible from both ends. Tanner Road runs close to the river, so environmental laws greatly affect what can be done.

The highlight for me was a fellow who had lived at the end of Tanner Road for more than 25 years. He is a member of the Duamish Tribe and a descendant of Chief Sealth. He spoke of the elk and their migrations through the lands in the area, including across the river and his property. He spoke in English and in his native American tongue. It was very moving.

Seven boaters spoke, including representatives from American Whitewater, Washington Kayak Club, Paddle Trails Canoe Club, and Washington Recreational River Runners (Chris Hermann). In advance of the hearing, American Whitewater, though Tom O’Keefe, submitted several excellent letters that contained detailed history and discussion why access and parking needed to be preserved. Our presentations were respectful to both the City and the developer. We emphasized the importance of preserving access to the unique, pristine natural resource that is the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. In December 2014, the section above Concrete Bridge was designated by Congress as a Wild and Scenic River.

We outlined why boaters need wide shoulders to take boats off vehicles to stage shuttles, the safety concerns of narrowing the shoulders from 15’ to 6’, and how narrowing the shoulders would push boaters out into the roadway when we stage. Problems then arise because of the substantially increased traffic that will result from 156 new homes, plus traffic cutting through the new development from other adjoined neighborhoods. Additionally, because a new park will be created on the river side across from the current parking, there will be competition from new-park users and long-time boaters. No design has been provided for the increased use and its impact on current boater staging/parking.

We pointed out that the Tanner Access has been established for decades and that, in 2005, a report was issued that recognized the existing access (which specifically includes parking with wide gravel shoulders). The Report recommended that parking and access be preserved in the future. That report was generated by a joint working group that included the City of North Bend, Washington Department of Natural Resources, King County, University of Washington, US Forest Service, National Park Service, American Whitewater (Thanks Tom O’Keefe and Jennie Goldberg), Mountaineers, and other organizations. American Whitewater created that project, which culminates with a recommendation to develop a site called Tanner Landing just under 1 mile downstream from the current Tanner takeout to augment, not replace, the current access point. (A good reason to write a small check to American Whitewater to become a member.)

After the public spoke, the City and the Applicant (developer) addressed the public comments. Both the City and the Applicant acknowledged the boaters' concerns. The City said it had learned new information at the hearing that warranted reconsideration of the current subdivision proposal. The City committed to the Hearing Examiner to undertake changes to the design requirements the City is going to place on the subdivision conditions, and the Applicant likewise acknowledged that changes could be made to accommodate boater concerns. Discussion focused on such items as widening the shoulders of Tanner Road from the current proposed design by such steps as pushing out the proposed location of curbs, removing planters, moving back proposed sidewalks/bike corridors, developing the shoulder for parking on the west (river) side of the road, and developing off-road parking on the riverside in the location of the new park. We will have to see what the City and developer come up with. Next comments come out on January 21.

The boater community’s active participation in the comment period already has made a difference in obtaining changes to the design. And last night’s participation in the hearing hopefully will result in further beneficial mitigations to benefit boater access and parking. This housing development will be put in at some point. It will change out there. No doubt. But the boater access will remain.

FYI re the MM put in. I boated before the hearing. The road is closed right after one turns left onto the road that takes one toward Island Drop and Concrete Bridge, well before the road turns to gravel and before the parking location for the hike to Mailbox Peak. The closure does not allow one to access above A Frame. There’s an undeveloped, steep slope that one can hike down with a kayak to put in below A Frame. A fellow in a pick up at the road closure (enforcing the closure) says that the road will be rebuilt, but that it’s washed out in a couple of sections.

Chris Weiss
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  Quote NateW Replybullet Posted: 09 Jan 2015 at 8:02am
Nice work!
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  Quote jcboaterboy Replybullet Posted: 09 Jan 2015 at 10:41am
Great work! I'm sad to hear the road is washed out limiting access above A-Frame.
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  Quote ReneeCP Replybullet Posted: 09 Jan 2015 at 6:11pm
Thanks for such an awesome write up, Chris, and for taking the interest and the action : )
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  Quote burn Replybullet Posted: 10 Jan 2015 at 10:49am
No matter what happens to the Tanner access we in the boating community have a rare gift in your participation .Thanks Chris for all your work and research on this subject. P.S you are a great public speaker .
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  Quote otterend Replybullet Posted: 21 Jan 2015 at 6:25pm

Tanner Road Update (1/21/15)

 

Today, the City of North Bend issued its proposal that the Developer (Segale Properties) revise its subdivision plan to provide for improved boater parking and additional safety measures for at the Tanner Road access to the Middle Middle section of the Snoqualmie River.

 

The Developer’s original plan called for 6’ wide parking lanes on both sides of Tanner Road. Following the hearing on January 8 (at which boater turnout was strong and supported by great letters from American Whitewater), the City’s new proposals include (1) east (riverside) parking with 8’ wide lane next to a 5’ wide sidewalk and (2) west (nonriverside) parking with 24’ wide lane next to a 5’ sidewalk.  Wide parking 90-degree spots are to be striped to accommodate large vehicles and boat unloading. 

 

The proposed changes seem pretty good.

 

The Developer has until February 4 to respond.  So far, the Developer has seemed reasonable and cooperative in addressing boater access concerns.   Updates to follow.

 

Chris

 

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  Quote ReneeCP Replybullet Posted: 21 Jan 2015 at 7:30pm
Chris, thank you SO much for staying on top of progress and reporting.

ALL BOATERS, these changes are the direct result of your participation in the process. THANK YOU for your voice. YOU have made a difference.
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  Quote ODarrow Replybullet Posted: 21 Jan 2015 at 10:01pm
That sounds pretty awesome! I think a picnic table or two would be pretty cool as an add on but this is definitely better than the last proposal.
"See what happens"
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