PSE Suffers Major Defeat in Appeal of Lake Hills-Phantom Lake Project Denial

“Energize Eastside” is not the only big-ticket boondoggle Puget Sound Energy has been pushing on the Eastside in pursuit of its Australian owners’ insatiable greed. For the past 10 years, this investor-owned and investment-driven “utility” has sought to add a “redundant” line along Southeast 16th Street, 148th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Eighth Street in Bellevue. This project with more overhead lines and wires would have required the removal of 300 trees older than Bellevue itself, further undermining Bellevue’s claim to be “a City in a Park.” (Energize Eastside, by contrast, would require the removal of 8,000 trees — a kind of “Agent Orange” result for the Eastside!).

Of course, ruining our environment is of no concern to PSE: for its foreign owners it is all about the bottom line. They don’t have to live here with the consequences.

When the East Bellevue Community Council (EBCC) decided unanimously in June of this year to deny PSE this ill-conceived and unnecessary Lake Hills-Phantom Lake Project by rejecting PSE’s conditional use and shoreline permit applications, PSE chose to ignore the will of the people and appealed EBCC’s decision to the King County Superior Court. On Friday, December 18, 2015, the judge dismissed PSE’s appeal on all counts, noting it was completely within the purview of EBCC’s power to reject the project as inconsistent with the city’s “Comprehensive Plan, its compatibility with the immediate vicinity and whether the proposed electrical utility facility would succeed in providing needed reliability.”

Kudos to EBCC for standing up to PSE and for the public good. PSE is so used to having sway over any regulatory body that is supposed to keep it in check that this court decision must have come as quite a shock. Let’s now see more of the same grit from our five city councils in denying the totally unjustifiable and fraudulently marketed Energize Eastside!

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