After reading many negative comments about YarrowBay in this newspaper, I feel compelled to share my positive experience. I live on Horseshoe Lake and was the former president of our homeowners association for 13 years. Due to flooding issues at my home and neighborhood, and concern for the potential impact of development in Black Diamond, I’ve actively participated in their annexation and development planning since the mid 1990’s. Although my neighborhood is outside Black Diamond’s city limits, I have had many opportunities to provide input to the city to make sure it’s understood development must not increase flooding or drying up of our lake. Many times I’ve asked if it’s possible to combine our need to pump during flooding with an MPD (master planned development) drainage plan, but it hasn’t seemed possible.
When YarrowBay purchased the property, now known as The Villages, they were aware of our flooding and surprisingly quick contacting me so they could meet with our board to hear our concerns which included impact to our lake. From that time, they have acknowledged the potential flood impact, and spent more time and money than expected using advanced technology to research the geologic factors involved. They have consistently asked for my input, shared their findings with me and my neighborhood, and made their technical data available to King County who has been developing a permanent pumping plan. YarrowBay’s plan presented in the MPD application to control runoff as it relates to Horseshoe Lake is well thought out and envied by Lake Sawyer residents. Even so, their continued creative thinking led them to meet with King County to discuss improving the county plan for Horseshoe Lake by including it in their regional drainage plan. If possible, this will fulfill my dream to stabilize our lake level.
I’ve found YarrowBay to be surprisingly quick to answer my questions and responsive even to little things. For example, when unwanted vehicles began entering The Villages property through my neighborhood, YarrowBay used various measures to stop the trespassing.
Although I may not agree with some parts of the MPD, my experiences encourage me to continue discussing my concerns with YarrowBay. Their staff repeatedly show me they want to know my concerns, strive to understand issues, and care about this community. I saw this demonstrated again at the end of the closed hearings by the number of conditions YarrowBay added in an effort to do a better job of responding to issues and do what’s right for Black Diamond.
I strongly feel when individuals of the community come together with YarrowBay to respectfully share concerns, differing ideas and problem solve with a spirit of cooperation we can create something greater than any of us first envisioned.