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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 25, 2009 at 1:07 PM

The sidewalk to nowhere

Homeowner victimized

I have total sympathy for Jesus Barajas [“Janitor’s pate to a dream: Pave it, city says,” page one, March 24, and “The sidewalk to nowhere,” editorial, March 25].

Coherent rules for developers that victimize (“snare” is not nearly strong enough) random property owners and inflict mindless expenses on them — sure sounds like the county’s Critical Areas Ordinance.

The ordinance has added thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars to the cost of building a new home, maintaining an existing one, or adding to a small home as the family grows. The bureaucracy is unbelievable.

The hours of consultations with this expert or that expert, each requiring at least hundreds of dollars — and the permitting process itself — torture.

I gave up on property I once owned in Maple Valley. I wish better luck to Mr. Barajas.

— Diane Dambacher, Seattle

City arrogance

I am writing this letter in support of Jesus Barajas, the man who saved up for years to renovate his house, only to have the arrogance of the city of Seattle step in and destroy his plans.

What the city has done to him is simply wrong, inexcusable and lacking in morality and fairness, as are most things that come out of the city’s offices nowadays.

Barajas showed uncommon fiscal responsibility in saving for his now-shattered dreams — it is too bad the city of Seattle cannot do the same, and instead takes it a step further and chooses to ruin a man’s hopes.

— Taiji Tamura, Shoreline

Thanks for keeping tabs

Two recent articles in your paper emphasize the value newspapers contribute to the community.

The first presented the investigation into the ineptitude of Seattle’s Department of Transportation during the December snowstorm [“Staff botched snow response,” March 19] and the second presented the Draconian rigidity of the city concerning the $15,000 dollars that a luckless homeowner was going to have to spend on building 60 feet of asphalt sidewalk.

Without a newspaper keeping tabs on this sort of stuff, how would we ever find out about the antics of those knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers down at City Hall?

Don’t give up the ship!

— Albert A. Fosha, Bothell

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