Lakeside Industries Future Renton/Maple Valley Asphalt Plant

The old Sunset Materials/King County Shops site was designated as Industrial, if it remained in its present use (landscape materials handling). It is contrary to the King County Comprehensive Plan to allow a parcel of land among other parcels that does not match the land use (“spot zoning”), except in certain circumstances where the public wants it, like a water park. During a KC Council meeting ~2008, the site was changed from the zoning RA-5 (rural residential) to Industrial, with the caveat. However, now KC is going to allow a hot-mix asphalt and recycled asphalt product (RAP) processing plant here.

Multiple semi-trucks entering into and sitting inside of a materials processing plant with piles of bark, gravel, and dirt, kicking up dust from their movement.
Work being done by Sunset Materials who was at this point leasing the parcel from Lakeside Industries, 29 May 2018.

A building on the site was a designated KC Landmark, but with one employee’s signature, that was rendered moot and Lakeside Industries could demolish the building in 2018. https://www.historylink.org/File/2393

Google map of the proposed asphalt plant location.
Location of the future Lakeside Industries hot-mix asphalt plant, located at 18825 SE Renton-Maple Valley Highway (HWY-169), located in unincorporated King County.

The parcel sits ~200 feet from the high water mark of the Cedar River, which is a salmonid spawning river, including for the endangered Chinook salmon. Sockeye runs this year were at a 40-year low and there’s not much hope for the future. The Cedar River, and this parcel of land are part of the watershed that provides 60% of Seattle’s (south of Shoreline) drinking water. https://www.myballard.com/…/lowest-sockeye-salmon…/

Salmon spawning in the Cedar River in the fall.
Salmon spawning in the Cedar River, 15 October, 2017

The site is also on top of an old coal mine (“Indian Mine” or “New Black Diamond Mine,” where uncounted tons of coal were mined, and whose structural stability is questionable and unknown. https://voiceofthevalley.com/…/acific-coast-coal…/

The site is a known seismic risk, landslide hazard, has three streams, four designated wetlands, and because the parcel is ~25 acres, it is home to a wide variety of animal life throughout the year: Columbian black-tailed deer, Bald eagle, Red-tailed hawk, Chestnut-backed chickadee, North American barn owl, Barred owl, Cooper’s Hawk, Sharp-shinned hawk, Stellar’s Jay, Black-capped chickadee, Common raven, Dark-eyed Junco, Douglas’ Squirrel, American beaver, and so many more.

Rough-skinned newt on the Cedar River Trail, an asphalt biking/walking trail.
Rough-skinned newt on the Cedar River Trail, 9 February 2018

The company has numerous complaints with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) and the Department of Ecology. If fined, the company pays it and moves on, business as usual. They had a few code complaints since they took over the property.

This has more years of data: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fis…/reports/counts/lake-washington…

Dirty asphalt semi-truck coated in black residue on a bright Spring day.
Lakeridge (different company from Lakeside) Asphalt Plant truck, 22 May, 2018

What good are jobs when the water is destroyed by pollution from a hot-mix asphalt and recycled asphalt product (RAP) processing plant there, with ground water 6″ from the surface in some places? The Cedar River, and this Lakeside Industries property are part of the watershed that provides 70% of Seattle’s (south of Shoreline) drinking water: the Cedar River Watershed. The company already has numerous complaints with the Dept. of Ecology and Puget Sound Clean Air Alliance (PSCAA). And DOE checks minimal things about the water (four, to be exact) to be tested, on an infrequent basis. Jobs are not a panacea. http://www.seattle.gov/…/our…/cedar-river-watershed

Asphalt mixing plant vector by angelha on canstockphoto https://www.canstockphoto.com/asphalt-mixing-plant-43389206.html

Note: written December, 2019, but links verified working 7 January, 2021.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: