Eastside neighborhood fights power pole project

by: Joanna Small Updated:


A group of people who live on the Eastside says a power company is about to make a beautiful area ugly-- and now those people are suing.  Giant power poles may go up along Lake Washington from Renton to Redmond.   

"You can see the freeway right there, it looks like it's about 65 feet above where it's at right now so you can imagine your poles are going to be another 25 feet higher than that freeway,” says Scott Kaseburg, standing on Ripley Lane pointing at the highway just up the hill.

Kaseburg and Sally McCray are doing everything they can to stop the new power pole plan on the abandoned railroad tracks. They and 72 other landowners are now suing King County, PSE and the Port of Seattle.  They say the port wrongfully sold the land to the utility for $13 million.

"You can't sell an easement to a property you don't own,” Kaseburg explains.

The railroad borrowed it, and landowners believe they were supposed to get it back when the rail stopped running in ‘08.  Instead, King County is turning it into a trail and if the power towers are built they would be near the trail. 

"It's early to start talking about a lawsuit,” says Andy Wappler with PSE.

Wappler says the decision on where to build the towers is a year out, and a location isn't firm.

"There are 16 different options that connect in 19 different combinations,” Wappler says, showing us on a map.

Kaseburg and McCray want their land off the short list.

"We've chosen to assert our property rights and say no I don't think so,” Kaseburg concludes.

Lawsuit or not the trail is supposed to be done some time next year.  PSE's project-- whatever route officialschoose-- is slated for completion in 2018.