King County renames, reorganizes permitting agency

October 16, 2012

In response to a population decline in unincorporated King County, leaders renamed and reorganized the county permitting agency Sept. 17, as officials prepare to relocate the office from Renton to Snoqualmie.

In a unanimous decision, King County Council members approved a measure to reorganize the Department of Development and Environmental Services and rename the agency as the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review.

The responsibilities for the agency do not change with the reorganization and the name switch.

The department issues building and land-use permits for properties in unincorporated areas, such as Klahanie, Mirrormont and Preston. The agency also enforces county land-use and building codes, staffs the King County Fire Marshal Division and issues business licenses.

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King County Council approves amended arena proposal

October 16, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 16, 2012

King County and Seattle leaders granted unanimous approval Monday to proceed on a Seattle sports and entertainment arena.

King County Council members approved the final memorandum of understanding and interlocal agreement among the county, Seattle and investor Chris Hansen’s ArenaCo. The decision by the council — and the Seattle City Council’s decision to adopt the memorandum of understanding and interlocal agreement Monday — is a key step in the effort to bring professional basketball and hockey teams to the region.

The agreement allows for up to $200 million in public dollars to finance a $490 million arena near Safeco Field.

In May, County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn joined Hansen, a San Francisco hedge fund manager, and announced a pact between the county, city and ArenaCo to govern financing for a proposed arena.

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Join King County budget discussion through meetings, Twitter

October 9, 2012

Residents can comment on King County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposed 2013 budget at a series of meetings countywide.

The meetings, hosted by the King County Council budget team, continue Oct. 10 in the City Council Chambers at Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave. N.E.

The last meeting is Oct. 17 in the 10th floor King County Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave., Seattle.

The meetings start at 6:30 p.m. Residents can watch coverage from the meetings the next day on King County TV, Comcast and Broadstripe Cable channel 22.

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King County renames, reorganizes permitting agency

September 19, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 19, 2012

In response to changes in unincorporated King County, leaders renamed and reorganized the county permitting agency Monday, as officials prepare to relocate the permitting office from Renton to Snoqualmie.

In a unanimous decision, King County Council members approved a measure to reorganize the Department of Development and Environmental Services and rename the agency as the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review.

The responsibilities for the agency do not change with the reorganization and the name switch.

Officials plan to move the agency office closer to customers, and start shifting operations to Snoqualmie late next month.

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Leaders mark 40th anniversary of Clean Water Act

September 19, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 19, 2012

King County leaders acknowledged local efforts to clean lakes and rivers in recognition of 40 years since the federal Clean Water Act became law.

The law, enacted in 1972, set a national goal “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters” and provided mechanisms to enforce water quality standards.

King County Council members recognized the milestone Monday, and unanimously approved a program to update the amount of untreated wastewater in Puget Sound and local lakes and rivers.

“Access to clean water is fundamental to our health, economy and quality of life,” Councilman Larry Phillips said in a statement. “The Clean Water Act has protected our nation’s water as an essential resource for all Americans, and our hard work in King County adheres to the letter and the spirit of the law keeping our waterways pristine.”

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Used vanpool vehicles return to service for nonprofit organizations

September 19, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 18, 2012

Leaders donated used vehicles from the King County Metro Transit vanpool fleet Monday to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, seniors and youths.

King County Council members authorized the donation. The vans served in the Metro Transit vanpool fleet for at least six years and reached the end of service life.

“Serving the mobility needs of those too young and too old to drive, as well as those with health challenges, is an important service for King County to provide,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee chairwoman and the Issaquah representative — said in a statement. “Using our retired vanpool vans for these important transportation needs is an efficient way of serving those who do not have other options.”

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How did Issaquah vote?

September 18, 2012

Data from the Aug. 7 primary shows how Issaquah voters decided  — and offers clues to how the local electorate might vote in the November general election.

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Revised arena deal requires King County Council approval

September 12, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. Sept. 12, 2012

King County leaders praised the proposed agreement between Seattle City Council members and the lead investor behind a proposal to build a sports-and-entertainment arena in Seattle.

Seattle leaders announced revisions to the proposed arena deal Tuesday. King County Council members approved the arena proposal July 30, but any changes adopted by the Seattle City Council must go to the King County Council for approval.

“This is a great sign of progress. I always felt this proposal presented a win-win opportunity to bring back our Sonics, secure an NHL team and address the existing transportation issues south of downtown,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement.

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Leaders laud land program for 30 years of conservation

August 28, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 28, 2012

King County leaders highlighted the program used to preserve 111,000 acres of farmland, forests, parks and open space countywide, including Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and Taylor Mountain near Issaquah.

In a recognition Monday, King County Council members marked 30 years of milestones in the Conservation Futures Program — a long-term effort to expand and maintain a open space.

In 1982, King County became the first county in the state to use Conservation Futures Funds. Cougar Mountain is the initial parkland purchased with program funds.

“It is important to preserve our open and natural spaces for recreation and reflection on our environmental heritage,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah’s representative, said in a statement.

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Voters endorse property tax measure, incumbent candidates

August 14, 2012

King County voters endorsed a $200 million property tax measure to build a juvenile justice facility to replace the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

The property tax measure, Proposition 1, appeared on a crowded primary ballot alongside federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.

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