Letter to the Editor: A necessary decision



The recent hearing about the Westgate community was disheartening. Several councilmembers are taking the “over my dead body” approach to prevent change in a neighborhood needing it. Not cosmetic change, but strategic and well-planned action that responds to two facts facing the future of Edmonds.

First, Edmonds is an “older community.” Census data for 2010 showed that 19.1 percent of Edmonds’ population was over 65 years, while Washington state’s percent was but 12.3 percent. Four years later, I assume the Edmonds’ percent has increased.

Many questions follow this fact. Most importantly, how will our neighborhoods be designed and function to respond to an aging population? Most seniors will eventually hand over their driver license, and mobility then becomes difficult. When our spread-out neighborhoods no longer work for the largest segment of our population, what then?

On the other hand, our younger citizens are also looking for well-designed, functional neighborhoods. Places that support work, play and alternative forms of transportation. Just look down to Seattle and up to Everett to see what’s being built, and why. Check out the many revitalized neighborhoods in Portland for what vision and leadership creates.

Time is not standing still; it’s Westgate today, and other neighborhoods later. The challenge is remaking key portions of our city, and doing so soon.

Signs dot the campus of our Swedish hospital. They tell us that their current remodeling is for the “next 50 years.” They know well that strategic, well-planned change is necessary to remain relevant for Edmonds. Does our council understand this simple fact regarding our neighborhoods?

Jim Underhill

2 Replies to “Letter to the Editor: A necessary decision”

  1. As a former citizen of the City of Edmonds I can honestly say that I’m disgusted with the City Council. It seems that none of them care to get anything done except bicker with each other and get nothing accomplished. The only things that matter to them are things that affect each of their own neighborhoods. Its sad to see such a cute suburb go by the wayside because the council is made up of the older generation who doesn’t want to advocate for change.

    City council members…get with it. Or you’ll soon find that your once quaint town will be the ghost town that could have been.




    .this “cute suberb ” is on a STATE HIGHWAY………..I was at that Town Council meeting ……This mass development is only about one thing and it is not from what I see in the best interest of that neighborhood or our community of Edmonds……some changes could be, but to present it in a way that people will make THIS a “destination” because of this mega development is obsurd to me…….it is on a HIGHWAY and the water, mountain vistas., beach are less than a mile away…..Who would believe people would make this their main destination?……Perhaps more importantly we are in NEED of some new AFFORDABLE HOUSING and with accompanying amenities and PUBLIC SPACES in that area.

    Yes, we see what is being done in Seattle…….and as the saying goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got ’till its gone”…….and the TEAR DOWN rate in Seattle and other places is obscene. Europe has beautiful architecture hundreds of years old, and we seem to not hold on to buildings for 20 years….TEAR DOWN

    Important links regarding people and the industries working on all of these new mass developments, which I see as not necessarily in the PUBLIC INTEREST



    Gene Duvernoy – Forterra (used to be Cascade Land Conservancy)


    Business Journal – Forterra


    Call me old school, but Land Conservancy and today’s mega Real Estate Development do not seem to me
    to go hand in hand……..This certainly explains the mega development being done, and in my opinion in the
    monetary interests of a select few.





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