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LETTER: ‘Salmon Creek has been mitigated into extinction’

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

To David Johanson, City of Burien, Senior Planner
400 SW 152nd St. (Suite 300), Burien 98146

Comments about PLA13-1349, PLA13-1664

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mr. Johanson,

On the issue of a permit application and mitigation (PLA13-1349/1664) concerning the building of a home on the south bank of Salmon Creek, please understand that I have no issue with the building of the home. I do take issue with the minimal mitigation that the City of Burien has accepted in change for the buildings encroachment into the Salmon Creek buffer zone.

Salmon Creek has been mitigated into extinction by “agencies” over the years. Here’s a bit of Salmon Creek history.

First, headwater properties were procured, filled, put into a culvert and a school built on major parts of the stream source.

Further development also put many other portions of the stream into culverts with housing built on top, some even named “Salmon Creek Apartments”.

Then a park was built on the buried stream and of all things named “Salmon Creek Park”

A concrete box culvert was placed in the stream to facilitate road construction which blocked salmon migration

Still, salmon insisted on using the remaining stream.

Good news came when King County purchased, with taxpayer dollars, the last open section of Salmon Creek. Also, the waters of Salmon Creek are not polluted with roadway runoff as it is contained in a bypass pipe, also paid for with tax payer funds. There was hope for recovery.

That all came to an end when “agencies” allowed the stream mouth resident to construct and maintain a barrier to salmon migration at the mouth of the stream in violation of RCW 77.15.320.

And today, the shoddy mitigation continues with the addition of a couple non-native trees and some gravel in a section of stream that was totally re-engineered by the homeowner without a permit.

Some say that agencies are slowly mitigating our natural resources into extinction. If that’s true, Salmon Creek would be a “poster-child”.

At the very least, the homeowner should be required to pay for a re-naming of the stream to “No Salmon Creek” to celebrate the accomplishments for those charged with providing stewardship for the stream.

To say the least, I’m disappointed.

Andy Batcho
Normandy Park resident

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