Edmonds City Council decides against Perrinville property sale

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.

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. I offer my respect and gratitude to the City Council for their decision to not sell the city land parcel on 80th. Although this does not prevent future development of the adjoining property, it does mitigate the extent of exploitation of this wooded watershed area that drains to Perrinville Creek. Thank you also to Duane Farmen, who so successfully motivated our Seaview neighbors to email Council and testify against the city land sale. Can we enlist grant money or a conservancy group to help purchase the remainder of the land?

  2. Perhaps the Cascade Land Conservancy could purchase the entire land owned by the developer and the parcel owned by the city.

  3. He who plants a garden believes in the future…..anonymous…..

    Great idea, Barbara. The Pennsylvania Horticulture Society has started a very innovative and forward reaching project…….PHS roots to re-entry.

    This project is about unification of the community……City Harvest…..Access to healthy and affordable food in the community, with a community garden, urban gardening that also helps get the food to people most in need, plus teaches sustainable gardening to the whole community, including cross sector partnerships.

    Roots to re-entry is a cross sector partnership for those with non violent offences, to get them working, training, back in the community, jobs, etc. Participants carefully selected……..

    “The program is a long and gradual process that requires patience and hard work”

    Like all things grown to last, it starts with the planting of a seedling…….Sowing seeds of SUCCESS

    It has been shown that these people (and the community) flourish with this type of program.

    Also, a transformation begins in the earth in the most literal way.

    I’m not familiar with the Perriville area, but perhaps this could be something forward reaching for our
    whole Edmonds community.

  4. Apparently without the city’s piece of property there is still the opportunity for 25 homes to be built on the adjacent site. I do not believe that it would be a prudent decision to have a park on that site – even if the funds to purchase it would come from sources other than the city. If that was to happen, the city would still incur considerable annual expenses for maintenance of a park that is not needed. Not needed because Seaview Park is right nearby, as well as Sierra Park a very short distance away.

    Not having 25 homes on the site would mean the loss of significant revenue that’s badly needed by the city. Sales tax would be lost during the construction phase, as well as Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) when the homes are sold. Property tax on the homes would be lost each and every year, as well as REET every time any of the homes are re-sold.

    What kind of dollars are we talking about? Let’s assume these homes have an average value of $500,000, so the total project would aggregate to $12,500,000. Let’s also conservatively assume that only 40% of the selling value is subject to sales tax; that’s a value of $5,000,000 that would yield $475,000 in sales tax of which the city would receive $42,500. The REET on the original sales would provide the city $62,500.

    The property tax paid on these homes each year would be about $125,000, with the city receiving about $25,000 of it. Each time a home is resold the city would receive REET of about $2,500.

    Because the city does not receive a significant amount of the collected sales tax and property tax does not mean that Edmonds taxpayers do not benefit from those revenues. Those revenues help to reduce the tax rates that we are assessed by the tax authorities, such as the Edmonds School District, that receive them.

  5. I wonder for what possible reason the City agreed to a Contract Rezone back in 1998 that included the proposed development of a piece of property OWNED by the City? Why wasn’t the City’s Parcel sold to the private owners BEFORE the contract rezone was executed?

    Now that the City Council has voted to not sell the City’s Parcel, can the rezoned property still be developed as proposed and agreed upon back in 1998 (Ordinance No. 3217)? If not, what is the status of the related Contract Rezone?

    Does the City have to take steps to return the property to its RS-12 zoning?

    The Angler’s Crossing history looks to be a strange one. I wonder how much public and private money has been spent on all the related legal matters, etc.

  6. Yes, Dick Van Hollebeke commented last night that this has been a very long and frustrating ordeal for the property owners who are now 80 and 85. City staff and the city attorney said that they could go ahead with a development that would not be a PRD.

  7. Assuming a letter I am looking at is legit, it appears that the City represented on February 23, 2000 that it intended to initiate a rezone of the property from RS-8 back to its original RS-12 if certain requirements weren’t met later on in the year 2000. I don’t know what all happened but it looks like one complicated mess.

    Ron, do you or Mr. Van Hollebeke recall why the City agreed to a Contract Rezone back in 1998 that included the proposed development of a piece of property OWNED by the City?

    It just seems very strange.

  8. I know nothing about what transpired back in 1998.

    • Whatever it was, it looks like another ugly, wasteful mess. Part of the problem is that the zoning result still appears to be is in place today – creating the possibility of greater density in that neighborhood, more traffic, etc. I hope the City will be open and transparent and inform the public why the property wasn’t returned to its RS-12 zoning.

  9. Perhaps the Perrinville property could be designated and developed as a high rise, low-income, eco-friendly, high density, sustainable, and diverse property to fulfill the progressive orientation of the CIty Council. This would be consistent with the recent bicycle lane, lane reduction, and round-a-bout delusions of this spendthrift City Council.

    No wonder the Edmonds Citizens are disgusted with the current Council….they are spending our tax money on boondoggles, will run out of funds chasing unicorns, and have to float new levy tax propositions to fund their spending addictions.

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