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Stolen car found ablaze -- News Roundup

A car stolen in Seattle was abandoned and set ablaze off West Port Madison Road Thursday.

Neighbors reported that two suspicious vehicles were driven onto the property shortly after noon, and disappeared from view behind a large storage building.

Minutes later, suspects left the scene in one vehicle, and the second car, a newer Ford Taurus, was found engulfed in flames. The car was destroyed before it could be extinguished, Bainbridge Police Officer Shane Hanson said.

The suspects were said to be driving a 1980s model Honda or Toyota, a “beater” thought to be maroon in color, Hanson said. Witnesses could not say which direction it went as it left the area.

Vehicle thefts have revolved around the Winslow terminal over the past several months. Last week, a Chevrolet Suburban was stolen from the terminal area, but was recovered nearby. A second vehicle was damaged in a theft attempt.

“They’ve been doing it in the daytime,” Hanson said. “It’s pretty brazen.”

– Douglas Crist

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***Groups appeal tall project

Two neighborhood groups have appealed the city’s determination of environmental non-signficance for a sizeable mixed-use project on High School Road.

An appeal by the East Central Bainbridge Island Community Association and Murden Cove Preservation Association claims the 111-unit project would have significant traffic impacts on the area.

“I think most people recognize that traffic there is pretty husky,” said Vince Mattson, representing the Murden Cove group.

The community groups hope to force developers Base Capital of Bellevue to complete a formal environmental study before the project moves forward.

Neighbors have opposed the project for a variety of reasons including its size, which they say would be out of scale with other projects along the corridor. The two-building complex – with 60 residential units and 51 “extended stay” hotel suites – would rise 45 feet above grade.

That “pushes the envelope” for building height, according to the appeal.

“The only viable alternative is to scale it down,” Mattson said.

The yet-unnamed development would sit on 3.2 acres on the north side of High School Road, between the M&M Texaco and the Virginia Villa arpartments. The appeal was co-signed by 55 individuals, including 37 residents of Virginia Villa.

Mattson and Lois Andrus of ECBICA said traffic issues should be considered in the context of other developments planned in the area. An apartment complex is now under construction next to Safeway, they noted, while townhomes are planned on the Martin-Patterson property at High School/Ferncliff.

“If it was sitting there all by itself, it wouldn’t matter,” Andrus said.

The appeal will be considered by a city hearing examiner.

– Douglas Crist

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