Quality of Life

PSE’s proposed Energize Eastside project threatens the residential and park-like character of Newcastle neighborhoods. PSE has marked 303 trees for removal (82% of the 370 trees currently growing in or near the utility corridor).

A photo of Lake Boren Park shows existing transmission poles that are shorter than nearby trees. If PSE’s project is approved, the new poles would be taller than most of the remaining trees. The more industrial appearance of Newcastle’s neighborhoods would impact quality of life in the city. Besides Lake Boren Park, the Coal Creek and May Creek parks would be affected.

Lake Boren Park • Newcastle, WA

PSE’s proposed Energize Eastside project threatens the residential and park-like character of Newcastle neighborhoods. PSE has marked 303 trees for removal (82% of the 370 trees currently growing in or near the utility corridor).

A photo of Lake Boren Park shows existing transmission poles that are shorter than nearby trees. If PSE’s project is approved, the new poles would be taller than most of the remaining trees. The more industrial appearance of Newcastle’s neighborhoods would impact quality of life in the city. Besides Lake Boren Park, the Coal Creek and May Creek parks would be affected.

Benefits of Tree Canopy

In addition to their aesthetic value, trees sequester carbon, reduce summer heat, filter pollution, and inhibit damaging stormwater runoff. An economic analysis included in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) finds the economic value of these benefits exceeds $300,000 in Newcastle. PSE promises to replant trees, but most would be short species not allowed to exceed 15 feet in height. By comparison, some of the new poles would be more than 100 feet high.

The EIS analysis also finds that Newcastle is the most likely city to experience lower tax revenue due to reduced property values if Energize Eastside is built. This would be unfair to Newcastle residents, given that any need for the project (if a need still exists) comes from growth in downtown Bellevue.

One of many examples of a residential park-like setting in Newcastle likely to be permanently altered by construction activity. (SE 86th Way looking north)

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