County approves permits to add cell tower equipment

September 27, 2011

King County approved permits Sept. 21 for AT&T to add antennae and equipment to Issaquah-area cell towers.

The county issued building permits for the telecommunications giant to modify the existing cell towers near the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club, 23600 S.E. Evans St., and at 18011 S.E. Renton-Issaquah Road, less than a half-mile southwest of the intersection of the street and Southeast May Valley Road.

AT&T applied to the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services to add three antennae, six remote radio heads and a surge protector to the cabinet on each tower.

The county permitting agency is handling the application for the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club site because the shooting range is a county island surrounded by Issaquah and is near Issaquah High School.

AT&T proposes adding equipment to cell tower

September 20, 2011

King County is considering a proposal from AT&T to add antennae and equipment to the existing cell tower at 10200 Renton-Issaquah Road Southeast, about a mile northeast of the intersection of the street and Southeast May Valley Road.

AT&T applied to the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services to add two antennae, six remote radio heads, three lines of cable and a surge arrestor to the tower.

The agency is in the process of determining if the proposal meets county code.

Residents can send comments about the proposal to DDES — Building and Fire Services Division, 900 Oakesdale Ave. S.W., Renton, WA 98057-5212. The public comment period ends Oct. 3.

Citizens can also review the application at the Renton office.

King County commits $70,000 to repair city’s retaining wall

September 6, 2011

King County recently agreed to fund repairs to a decade-old retaining wall along Southeast Black Nugget Road as city planners seek to shore up the structure against landslides.

The city closed the sidewalk along the wall in March after soggy conditions caused a small landslide on the slope behind Fred Meyer and The Home Depot. The shifting earth did not pose a risk to motorists or residences atop the hill, but the incident refocused attention on plans to strengthen the wall.

County officials committed $70,000 for upgrades. The project could cost up to $640,000 for substantial renovations. The city is setting aside funds to complete the project in the years ahead.

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Local cell tower projects clear King County hurdle

August 16, 2011

The separate proposals to add equipment to cell towers in Issaquah and May Valley cleared a regulatory hurdle in early August. So, too, did a proposal to construct a cell tower in Klahanie Park near Challenger Elementary School.

AT&T applied to the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services to add three antennae, six remote radio heads and a surge protector to the cabinet on the Issaquah and May Valley towers.

Crews intend to add equipment on the existing towers near the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club, 23600 S.E. Evans St., and 18011 S.E. Renton-Issaquah Road, less than a half-mile southwest of the intersection of the street and Southeast May Valley Road.

The county permitting agency is handling the application for the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club site because the shooting range is a county island surrounded by Issaquah and is near Issaquah High School.

The telecommunications company also intends to build the Klahanie Park tower. Plans call for cedar fences of up to 6 feet tall to ring the base.

County planners determined the projects do not require environmental impact statements — a thorough review to assess how a project could impact the surrounding environment.

The decision, or determination of nonsignificance in planning parlance, is not the last step in the process. The county must still issue building permits for the projects.

Residents opposed to any of the cell tower projects cannot appeal to the Department of Development and Environmental Services, but instead must direct appeals to King County Superior Court.

AT&T proposes constructing cell tower near school

June 14, 2011

King County is considering a proposal from AT&T to build a 150-foot tall cell tower on the Sammamish Plateau near Endeavour Elementary School.

The telecommunications company applied for a permit from the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services to build a tower for cellular antennae and a shelter for equipment at 26325 S.E. 39th St., about a mile northeast of the Klahanie Center shopping complex and less than a half-mile from the elementary school.

The county permitting agency is in the process of determining potential environmental impacts of the projects. Residents can send comments about the environmental impacts to DDES — Building and Fire Services Division, 900 Oakesdale Ave. S.W., Renton, WA 98057-5212. The public comment period ends June 30.

Residents can also review the applications and any environmental studies at the Renton office.

AT&T proposes adding equipment on towers

June 7, 2011

King County is considering proposals from AT&T to add antennae and equipment to the existing cell towers near the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club, 23600 S.E. Evans St., and 18011 S.E. Renton-Issaquah Road, less than a half-mile southwest of the intersection of the street and Southeast May Valley Road.

AT&T applied to the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services to add three antennae, six remote radio heads and a surge protector to the cabinet on each tower.

The county permitting agency is handling the application for the Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club site because the shooting range is a county island surrounded by Issaquah and is near Issaquah High School.

The agency is in the process of determining potential environmental impacts of the projects. Residents can send comments about the environmental impacts to DDES — Building and Fire Services Division, 900 Oakesdale Ave. S.W., Renton, WA 98057-5212. The public comment period ends June 20.

Residents can also review the applications and any environmental studies at the Renton office.

Consider a seismic retrofit as earthquake insurance

April 19, 2011

Strengthening a residence through a home earthquake retrofit is as simple as ABC: anchor, brace and connect.

Most homes built in the past 30 years or so do not need a retrofit to hold steady in earthquakes, but older homes may need some foundation tune-ups. If the foundation is not secured to the rest of the structure, major damage can result from the ground shaking.

The earthquake in Japan — plus major temblors in New Zealand, Chile and Haiti in the past year — has renewed the focus on seismic safety at home.

“When the earth starts shaking sideways, the foundation moves with the earth,” Sound Seismic co-owner Leif Jackson said. “This big, massive object is not going to immediately move with the foundation. It’s going to kind of lag behind, and it’s going to lag behind when that foundation oscillates back in the opposite direction. So, the house and the foundation get out of synch, and it can get jolted off of the foundation.”

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King County streamlines some building permits

April 19, 2011

King County is taking steps to remove some of the hassle out of applying for building permits.

The county Department of Development and Environmental Services is launching a program called Pre-Submittal Services for permits too complex for over-the-counter service.

The process provides direct customer service to applicants before they submit an application by providing feedback to identify technical issues or red flags, and set expectations for the process ahead. In turn, department staffers can immediately initiate or review an application, rather than having to go back to the applicant to request clarity or more information.

The service is set up for 12 types of mid-sized permit applications, including new dwellings, small commercial buildings, grading, and additions, remodels and accessory structures.

Starting April 25, applicants with a Pre-Submittal Services-qualifying project can pay $357 up front. The fee is then credited to the cost of the application after the final paperwork is submitted. The total processing time is expected to drop significantly.

Find hours and location information on the agency’s website, www.kingcounty.gov/permits.

King County shifts to biennial budgeting

March 22, 2011

Like the state and some municipal governments, the King County Council has taken a step to shift the county to a biennial, or two-year, budgeting process.

Officials said the shift to biennial budgeting extends the planning period for county departments to further examine and define budgets.

The longer timeframe also allows the executive and council to improve program evaluation, enhance performance management and encapsulate cost-savings during the budget process.

The council unanimously adopted legislation to set the schedule for county agencies to transition to a biennial budgeting process. The Department of Development and Environmental Services, the county permitting agency, is on track to join the Department of Transportation in delivering a biennial budget for the 2012-13 cycle.

Voters approved a county charter amendment in 2003 to allow leaders to shift all county departments to biennial budgeting. The council adopted the timeline for adoption Feb. 28.

Leaders expect all nongeneral fund budgets to transition to biennial budgeting for 2013, and all county agencies should deliver biennial budgets for the 2015 King County budget. The spending plan should be adopted in fall 2014.

King County shifts agencies to biennial budgeting

March 21, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. March 21, 2011

Like the state and some municipal governments, the King County Council has taken a step to shift the county to a biennial, or two-year, budgeting process.

Officials said the shift to biennial budgeting extends the planning period county departments to further examine and define budgets.

The longer timeframe also allows the executive and council to improve program evaluation, enhance performance management and encapsulate cost-savings during the budget process.

The council unanimously adopted legislation to set the schedule for county agencies to transition to a biennial budgeting process. The county Department of Development and Environmental Services, the county permitting agency, is scheduled to be joined by the Department of Transportation in delivering a biennial budget for the 2012-13 cycle.

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