A group of about two dozen residents of Perrinville neighborhood left the Edmonds City Council chambers happy Tuesday night after councilmembers voted unanimously not to sell a small parcel of property, an action that neighbors feared would lead to significant development in the area.
Council President Diane Buckshnis told the group she had never received as many emails as she had on this issue, then added she would not favor purchasing the .6-acre piece of heavily-wooded land at 184th Street Southwest and 80th Avenue West. Speaker after speaker came to the podium, testifying that the city’s sale of the land would precipitate additional development of the surrounding forested area, which is now privately owned.
Neighbors point to past attempts to build a 27-home planned residential development on the five-plus-acre forest, and urged the city to not only keep the .6-acre parcel, but to figure out a way to purchase the additional land and turn the whole area into a park or wildlife preserve.
Councilmember Strom Peterson said that by keeping the smaller parcel, the city won’t prevent the surrounding land from being developed, “If we owned all those pieces of property, it would be the easiest decision in the world to not sell it,” he added. After significant council discussion, he ended up joining fellow councilmembers in their vote against the sale. Both Peterson and Councilmember Lora Petso expressed hope that the council could continue to explore ways to guide future development of the larger property to address neighbors’ concerns about loss of trees and wildlife.
The council also:
– heard an update on the Edmonds School District from Superintendent Nick Brossoit. Mayor Dave Earling made a point to thank Brossoit for the district’s partnership on a variety of initiatives, including the recent agreement to develop the old Woodway High School playfields into a multi-use recreational campus available to Edmonds residents and neighboring communities.
– voted 6-0 to reaffirm a resolution that supports demolishing the current building housing the Edmonds Senior Center and building a new facility at the center’s 220 Railroad Ave. location. Senior Center Executive Director Farrell Fleming said the vision is for a new building that not only serves seniors but the entire community — with a recreation center that can even offer a teen night on Fridays. Buckshnis abstained from voting due to her role as a member of the Senior Center’s Board.
– after a closed-record review, approved by a vote of 6-1 (Petso opposed) the Edmonds Planning Board’s recommendation to rezone one parcel of land at 7533 228th St. S.W. to accommodate an additional residential unit in what is now a seven-unit apartment building.
– heard an update on intersection improvements proposed for at 76th Avenue West and 212th Street Southwest. Among the ideas being explored: turning the current four-lane (two each way) roadway into three lanes total, and adding bicycle lanes.
– authorized a professional services agreement with consulting firm Shannon & Wilson for tasks to complete the final Feasibility Study for daylighting Willow Creek and restoring the Edmonds Marsh. Both the creek daylighting and marsh work would provide a wide range of benefits for fish and birds in the area, and would also address the flooding problems that occur at Highway 104 and Dayton, Harbor Square Business Complex and Salish Crossing.
– Received a report from Public Works Director Phil Williams on the status of work on the 76th Avenue Water Main project. ‘
– Heard the Edmonds Arts Commission 2013 annual report.