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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Executive marks important victory in long struggle to clean up eyesore and health hazard in Skyway

Summary

"Enough is enough. We're going to fix this, and fix the system that allows violators to skirt the law for decades," Executive Constantine said in announcing a plan to clean up a concrete recycling facility in Skyway.

Story

Mount Anderson - King County Executive

Executive Constantine, with members of the Skyway community, has directed staff to draft more common-sense rules to strengthen the County’s code enforcement.


Bringing an end to an eyesore and health hazard in Skyway for more than 30 years, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced cleanup can soon begin at the concrete recycling facility that has come to be known as “Mount Anderson.” He has also directed staff to draft more efficient, common-sense rules to strengthen the County’s code enforcement.

“Enough is enough. We’re going to fix this, and fix the system that allows violators to skirt the law for decades,” said Executive Constantine. “With the support of our partners in the community, we will reclaim this site for the people of Skyway and West Hill.”

The operation of the Anderson site has been out of compliance with King County Code since 1982. A 2013 State Supreme Court ruling clarified that the facility was not a grandfathered use. County efforts to regulate the operation usually resulted in negotiated settlements that were not fully followed. The business went bankrupt and into receivership in 2006.

King County Superior Court Judge Brian Gain ordered a shutdown of the operation two years ago, with cleanup to be completed by June of 2015, but the receiver asked for more time. Executive Constantine worked with the King County Council to secure $400,000 to step in and fund cleanup of the site, with repayment to the public from eventual sale of the property.

The judge this month signed a new settlement with the bankruptcy receiver that

  • Stops the import of any more concrete debris, and
  • Authorizes the receiver to begin crushing the pile of concert blocks.

“I want to extend special acknowledgement to the residents and community organizations of West Hill/Skyway. The environmental risks residents have been subjected to for decades presented a visible challenge to King County’s principles of Equity and Social Justice,” said King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, who represents the Skyway area. “It’s been a long battle, but I am certain we would not have arrived at this final resolution at this time without the perseverance, pressure and organizing of this community I am so proud to represent.”

“King County’s commitment of extraordinary abatement funding, and Judge Gain’s order to begin the shutdown and cleanup of this industrial site, has made our participation at court hearings for all these years very worthwhile,” said Sonja Bowden, board member of the West Hill Community Association. “We’re looking forward to a better use for this land and a much healthier environment for our community.”

“This is a great win for environmental justice and health equity in our community, which has suffered for decades from airborne dust pollution from this industrial concrete recycling facility,” said Michael Majeed, executive director of Skyway Solutions. “It’s exciting to see that our concerns as an unincorporated community about above-average asthma rates are finally being heard. We applaud the County for partnering with us to address our environmental issues, and we look forward to collaborating on transforming this site into something the community needs.”

Executive Constantine has directed his Permitting Department to draft stronger code enforcement rules that can, among other things, shorten the length of time violators have to comply with the law, and reduce redundancies in the appeals processes. Proposed changes to County Code will be sent to the County Council for public review and action.


Quotes

Enough is enough. We’re going to fix this, and fix the system that allows violators to skirt the law for decades. With the support of our partners in the community, we will reclaim this site for the people of Skyway and West Hill.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

I want to extend special acknowledgement to the residents and community organizations of West Hill/Skyway. The environmental risks residents have been subjected to for decades presented a visible challenge to King County’s principles of equity and social justice. It’s been a long battle, but I am certain we would not have arrived at this final resolution at this time without the perseverance, pressure and organizing of this community I am so proud to represent.

Larry Gossett, King County Councilmember

King County’s commitment of extraordinary abatement funding, and Judge Gain’s order to begin the shutdown and cleanup of this industrial site, has made our participation at court hearings for all these years very worthwhile. We’re looking forward to a better use for this land and a much healthier environment for our community.

Sonja Bowden, Board Member, West Hill Community Association

This is a great win for environmental justice and health equity in our community, which has suffered for decades from airborne dust pollution from this industrial concrete recycling facility. It’s exciting to see that our concerns as an unincorporated community about above-average asthma rates are finally being heard. We applaud the County for partnering with us to address our environmental issues, and we look forward to collaborating on transforming this site into something the community needs.

Michael Majeed, Executive Director, Skyway Solutions

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.@kcexec marks important victory in long struggle to clean up eyesore, health hazard in Skyway: http://ctt.ec/2Uoad+


For more information, contact:

PIO Name, Frank Abe, Executive Office, 206-263-9609


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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