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Skullduggery afoot to get Potala built | Letter
It seems there is no end to the city planners’ devious efforts to get the Potala project built despite 18 months of citizen objection, two moratoriums by the city council, legal objections and countless meetings.
This building is to be four stories high with two subterranean parking garages housing 316 more cars to hit our Lake St. and side streets. These condos are expected to number 143 units with 500 square feet of living space.
Potala’s original plan called for over 180 units which was initially allowed by city planners without an Environment impact Statement. After loud objections, the city backtracked and required the EIS.
Now the builder, Mr. Dargey, has requested and the city acceded to his request to adjust the EIS to “meet his budget.” Really? An abridged EIS? Anything less than a full and complete EIS will have no integrity or believability.
As to the EIS itself, a comprehensive and objective study to determine the feasibility of a project, an outside agency is selected to conduct the EIS. In discussions with the city they gave assurances that the study would, in fact, be unbiased.
What agency was selected? Inova was selected. This agency is headed by Joseph Tovar, former director of planning for the city of Kirkland and perhaps some former city employees as well.
Since other agencies were available, why this one? At a city meeting a week ago, a few knowledgeable people spoke to many errors in the way Inova computed the average units per acre leading to a better justification for Mr. Dargey’s project.
Perhaps lastly and most importantly the city has seen fit to allow only two outcomes: build it with 143 units or reject the whole project. So...modifications and compromise are not possible. Really? Why?
The final question is this: Who has given the city the authority to behave in such a dictatorial manner? Some 800 citizens signed up as opposed to this project. These people live here, pay taxes here and vote here and Mr. Dargey doesn’t. The City Council needs to step up and put an end to the duplicity and arrogance of this city’s planners.
J. F. Rogers, Kirkland