The once quiet Renton cul-de-sac on SE 18th Street is now like a highway for large trucks. They're setting up sewer systems for a new development with more than 90 homes. The 21-acre clear cut looks like a massive brown spot seen from the sky. It was once covered by 1,300 large trees.
"I have been angry about this since they've been clearing out that thing. But what can I say? Those stupid politicians in there don't think about people like me," Jorge Veniegas said.Veniegas is one of many neighbors who is no longer just upset about the trees. On Friday, he said, they received letters warning their cars could be towed if left on the street between 7 a.m and 5 p.m. starting this week. The city says driveways should remain clear, but we saw them blocked.
"It's the city's goal to reduce impacts to the greatest extent possible and ensure the homeowners have access to their property at all times," senior planner Mona Davis told KING 5.But a letter from the construction crew warns of more severe interruptions.
"During our work hours, you will have limited access to your homes by car," a letter from Rino Construction reads. It continues by telling residents that if they want to avoid "lengthy delays," they should "leave before and arrive after our work hours."Posts on the "I Love Renton" Facebook page complain it's unfair for the city to "trap us in our houses like this for an entire month."
"We could have prepared," Veniegas said.Veniegas says they had no time to get ready. His wife, who is 77 years old and handicapped, can't park down the street.
"I hate being here now," he said. "What will I do? I don't have money to move to another place."After nearly 40 years in his house, Veniegas says he'd move if he could. With the greenspace cleared, neighbors say they've lost more than trees.
"Walk dogs, bike, I foraged with my nieces in the woods, get to know your neighbors because you pass in the woods, and that's just gone, so this piece of connection is gone," his daughter Marilee said.KING 5 has contacted the number listed on the construction company letterhead, but we have not yet received a reply.
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