City Council Roundup | May 15, 2018
Posted on 05/17/2018


The Newcastle City Council roundups offer a digest of notable items for those who can't make it to the regular meetings. Listen to the audio from the May 15 meeting here and view the meeting agenda packet here
View past City Council roundups at

City Council Takes a Stand on Timber Harvest

As the Department of Natural Resources prepares to issue a decision regarding a permit to clear-cut 28 acres of trees on a property located in the southeast corner of the city, the Newcastle City Council is taking a firm stand to protect the scenic area known as the DeLeo Wall property.

At the May 15 meeting, the council directed the city attorney to file an appeal on any decision to allow logging on the site. The council also instructed the city manager and city attorney to pursue any options to delay or stop the clear-cut on the land, which is also called the Dalpay property.

Several citizens used the public comment period at the May 1 council meeting to share concerns about the application to clear the trees. Speakers discussed the impact the clear-cut would have on wildlife, trails and the environment. On May 1, the City of Newcastle sent a letter to the Department of Natural Resources outlining its own list of concerns. Read the letter here.

“Preservation of this property is very much in the public’s best interest,” City Manager Rob Wyman said. “Removing the trees will create a scar on the landscape visible for miles, and most notably will be seen from the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. The park is a resource that many people in the region enjoy.”

Mr. Wyman said the city will move forward to do what it can to delay or prevent the logging activity. Delaying the logging would provide more time for affected property owners and agencies to take steps to protect the area. The Department of Natural Resources is expected to issue a decision this week.

Council Approves Recommendation to Keep Brick Monument at Newcastle Commons

The Newcastle City Council approved the Community Activities Commission recommendation to keep the brick monument at the Newcastle Commons and enhance the immediate area with signage and seating to make it a historic destination for the community.

In September 2017, the monument was moved from its original location to make way for grading work at the Shops at Newcastle development site. It was placed at the intersection of Newcastle Commons Drive and 132nd Place Southeast since no suitable location could be found on Coal Creek Parkway.

After consideration of limited options, the new location was found to be beneficial because of its proximity to the location of the former Mutual Materials brick plant and the street and sidewalk, giving people a closer view of the intricate monument.

Police Chief Presents First Quarter Police Statistics

In the first three months of 2018, both Part I crimes (which include robbery, larceny and more) and Part II crimes (including vandalism and trespassing) were down compared to this time last year, according to a report from Newcastle Police Chief Melinda Irvine.

There were 48 Part I crimes in the first quarter of 2018, compared to 63 last year. Similarly, there were 53 Part II crimes in the first three months of 2018 versus 75 in 2017. Burglaries and larcenies are also down in 2018, but traffic collisions have ticked up slightly. View Chief Irvine’s presentation to the council here and the complete first quarter crime report here.

Other Notes

— The City Council reviewed a draft of a memorandum of understanding that would ensure the preservation of the historic Baima House, a King County landmark that stands as one of the few remnants of the city's bustling coal-mining industry. The property it currently sits on is slated for development, but the owners are hoping to work with the city to donate the house and relocate it on what would be a newly created public park on the property in exchange for certain development density concessions. The agreement required revisions and will be brought back at a future council meeting.

— Mayor Allen Dauterman presented two proclamations recognizing National Police Week and Public Works Week.

— Councilmember Carol Simpson announced she was appointed to the Association of Washington Cities Legislative Issues Committee.

(Photo of DeLeo Wall hillside from May Valley by Eva Lundahl)

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