By Peter Rimbos, Corresponding
nearly 800 unincorporated Rural Area citizens within the Tahoma
School District participated in the election of members to the
Greater Maple Valley Area Council and our bi-annual Citizens
Advisory Survey. The Area Council has been conducting these surveys
for over ten years to gain and maintain an understanding of citizens
and their opinions on issues of importance to this Rural Area. We
thank all those who participated. A summary of the responses follows
(percentages provided relate to the total votes cast). These results
will be shared with your county and state officials.
demographics, most people (99%) own their own property and 83% have
lived in the area more than 10 years (note that each of these two
statistics far exceed the County and city averages.). A majority
(55%) live on 2 1/2 or more acres. A majority (57%) also have a
private or small group well. Most (75%) do not want to be annexed to
an urban area.
Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure
have shown that traffic is a major problem in the Maple Valley area.
A majority (59%) would not like to see carpool lanes added to SR-169
(Maple Valley Hwy.). A majority (58%) are undecided about developing
light rail or commuter train service along SR-169. While many are
undecided, few people (13% & 28%) would like to see expanded
capacity on SR-516 (Kent-Kangley Rd.) and Petrovitsky Rd.,
respectively. About half (51%) do not want expanded transit options.
When it comes to how to pay for transportation infrastructure,
favored options vary: gas taxes (35%), vehicle taxes (22%), tolls
(19%), sales taxes (17%), and auto meters (7%).
King County Services
prioritized six key King County-supplied services as follows:
1) Public Safety
Transportation (roads, transit)
3) Public Health
(emergency services, mental health)
4) Flood Control
& Emergency management
5) Parks & Open
Services (affordable housing, senior services).
Of those who
responded to the next set of question -- regarding the King County
Department of Development and & Environmental Services (DDES) --
many have been dissatisfied with the cost of permits (67%) and
processing of permits (74%). However, they are about equally split
on code enforcement. Levels of satisfaction with the Public
Health--Seattle & King County in processing septic and well permits
are also more or less equally split. The vast majority (95%) do not
support metering of private wells.
Fire and School Levies
We closed our
survey with three questions. The majority (57%) would like to see
the Fire Levy amount restored (fewer would like it decreased and
even fewer, increased). Just under a majority (46%) would like to
see the School Levy amount restored with fewer seeking a decrease
(37%). Finally, few have a home-based business (14%).
The Area Council
expresses its deepest appreciation to all those who took the time
and effort to participate in the election of its members and to
complete our bi-annual Advisory Survey. We also especially thank
those who took the extra time and efforts to give us your own
Thank you for continuing to help the Area Council understand the
sentiments of unincorporated area residents and accurately convey
them to our elected officials. Detailed results can be found on our