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Fennel Ridge connection draws dispute

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By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

Connecting the dots on Bonney Lake's street map has raised hackles in two neighborhoods.

A corridor study of 192nd Avenue East by the city staff and the Sumner consulting firm Parametrix has raised competing concerns in the Bonney Lake Manor and Fennel Ridge neighborhoods.

The two communities are built on 190th Avenue and 192nd Avenue East, west of Bonney Lake High School.

The city is planning to connect the sections of 192nd, which would add another north-south access road connecting state Route 410 East on the north and Rhodes Lake Road on the south.

The growth in the southern region of the Bonney Lake area and the Cascadia and Falling Water developments are spurring the concern to get the traffic moving.

“We need additional north-south connections to (SR) 410,” Public Works Director Dan Grigsby said. “We need to spread the load across all the intersections and roads as much as possible.”

According to Grigsby, 192nd is in four sections and the city is looking to connect them, including one small part which is privately owned. The Public Works staff does not expect the ownership transfer of the road to the city will pose a problem.

The disagreement between the neighborhoods is a connection from 190th/192nd and 189th Avenue East into the Fennel Ridge neighborhood.

Representatives from homeowners associations attended the Dec. 13 City Council workshop.

Kathleen Edman, president of the Fennel Creek Homeowners Association, presented the neighborhood's concerns with the connection.

“We just don't think it is necessary,” Edman said. “We firmly believe the increase in traffic will impact our neighborhood. Opening all access to all areas is not a good idea and opening this connection will not significantly decrease traffic congestion.”

Keith Stanley, president of the Bonney Lake Manor Homeowners Association, presented a petition to the council advocating for the connection to Fennel Ridge.

Stanley said the connection “would take the pressure off the intersections at 109th (Street East) and 111th (Street East) and there would be fewer people driving through Bonney Lake Manor which has no sidewalks.”

Grigsby said the Fennel Ridge Development was approved by the hearing examiner with the notation that 189th would be connected once 192nd was completed as a corridor.

Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman said the connection does not have to be made to Fennel Ridge.

“We may be better off spending the money improving intersections and putting down sidewalks,” Swatman said.

Mayor-elect Neil Johnson said he does not favor the connection at this point, “unless there is a public safety reason for it. That's a different discussion.”

Assistant Fire Chief John McDonald said the fire department supports the connection to give additional access for emergency personal.

The final decision will rest with the City Council once members of the Public Works staff offer their final recommendations.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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