A development underway in Lacey is violating the city’s regulations on protecting trees and forests, a Lacey area resident told the Lacey City Council Thursday night.
Rob Kavanaugh, who said he lives one block south of the Lacey city limits, told the council that he is working on his own assessment of tree protection plans for the cities of Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey.
But after seeing a new development at the Lacey Corporate Center, a business park that curls between College Street and Yelm Highway, he became concerned.
“The Lacey (tree protection) plan is not being properly implemented or enforced,” he said, adding that the development site at the corporate center is “completely devoid of trees, a total clear cut.”
Lacey Community Development Director Rick Walk said after the meeting that seven office buildings have been proposed for that site, which is in the 4500 block of Corporate Center Drive Southeast. Public records show that a Seattle company owns the lot.
Kavanaugh’s concerns will be taken seriously, Walk said, but he also believes the site is being developed in accordance with city land-use and tree ordinances. Landscaping will be part of the development, including along the perimeter of the site, he said, and there is a “tree tract” requirement that 5 percent of the land must have trees.
Lacey had “what I once thought was the best tree protection plan in the state,” Kavanaugh told the council.
In related news, the council awarded nearly $500,000 to Lakeside Industries of Lacey to reconstruct Corporate Center Drive Southeast this summer. The work is expected to begin in mid-July and take 20 days to complete.
Several awards also were announced Thursday night:
Ken Balsley. Balsley, a longtime Lacey resident and booster who also has chronicled news about Lacey in his newsletter and blog, said he was honored to receive the award. But Balsley also is never far from a cutting remark. After he was invited to shake hands with the council members, Balsley replied: “I want to get out my hand sanitizer first.”
•Lacey Pioneer Award:
Zelma Bernd. Bernd served on the Lacey Historical Society’s board for many years and is related to Emeline Ruddell Kilmer and George Himes, two pioneers who settled in Lacey.
•Spirit of Lacey Awards:
North Thurston High School teacher Brady Olson, who tackled and restrained a student who fired a gun at the school in April, and the Lacey Sunrise Lions Club, which hangs U.S. flags throughout the city.