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The Ducks Want to Swim in Eastlake's Back Yard!

The EastlakeAve blog alerts us to NIMBY controversy over a "hidden" White Board designed to notify the public of a proposed land use action at the former Lake Union NOAA site along Fairview Avenue East.

This one announces plans for a boat launching facility to be operated by Ride the Duck Tours, a $28-a-ride business owned by Brian Tracey, based at Fifth & Broad Streets across from the Space Needle. It appears that Tracey has secured a lease for his project from the Department of Natural Resources, which owns the lakeside frontage.

Says Eastlake resident Brian Ramey, "This new boat ramp and proposed load and unload facility will have serious impacts n the immediate neighbors. This will bring a huge volume of traffic to the neighborhood, adding to the issues of finding parking, loud speaker phones droning on at our shoreline at all hours of the day."

Ramey is particularly concerned that the drivers of the Ducks have limited visibility when they are on land. "At minimum a traffic study needs to be required by an independent engineer." But Ramey and a number of Eastlake residents believe a full environmental review, under the terms of the Shoreline Management Act, is called for.

Because of the Shoreline impacts, parked cars, new piling for a new wharf, etc. this project should tip the scales for a the required SEPA demands for full blown Environmental Impact Statement.

If you look closely, you can see the outline of a DUCK rolling down the boat ramp in this preliminary design, submitted to Seattle's Department of Planning and Development.

And here's the very latest, which Curbed has gleaned from a review of last week's DPD public correspondence: a "permit technician" inspected the sign and verified the complaint. "This could be grounds for appeal," states an email from DPD to Jessica Clawson at McLeary Hill, the engineering consultants for the project. Upon receiving the email on Friday, Ms. Clawson promised to move the sign higher, and notify the city when it had been moved to a more visible position.

The deadline for comments, according to the original sign, is October 19th. Will there be an extension, once the sign is more visible? Stay tuned.
· The DUCK is planning to land in your back yard; what you can do [East Lake Ave]