King County approves asphalt plant project near Cedar River

After years of protests, moratoriums and delays, King County has granted approval for an asphalt plant project to be built in Renton on the banks of the Cedar River.

The county’s local services department ruled Thursday that the project, which has been fiercely opposed by neighbors and environmental groups, “does not pose a likely significant adverse impact on the environment,” so long as the company takes reduction measures.

The decision comes six years after Lakeside Industries purchased the 25-acre parcel on Highway 169 and nearly four years after Lakeside, which owns a dozen asphalt plants in western Washington, applied for the first time to build the plant, reported the Seattle Times.

The county also said an environmental impact statement – ​​which had been requested by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and others – was not required.

The site is approximately 50 meters from the Cedar River, separated by a five-lane highway and bike path. A traffic study revealed that the plant will require 460 truck trips each weekday.

The site was rezoned in 2008, as part of a little-noticed amendment to a massive piece of mandatory legislation. It went from rural, with only one house allowed every 5 acres, to industrial.

Lakeside bought the site in 2016 for $9.5 million, five times its assessed value.