For the second time in nine years, a developer has proposed to nearly “clearcut” 22 acres of forest in the Picnic Point Valley (north of Edmonds) and build 112 cluster homes in a development named Frognal Estates AKA Horseman’s Trail. If allowed to proceed this project will have very negative consequences for our way of life in Snohomish County.
According to the information the Mukilteo School District provided in their last levy request, the school district is in a crisis with overcrowding and aging schools. Yes, they will receive mitigation fees from the builder but that money will be quickly spent with the proposed added enrollment. We do not want to live in an area with sub-standard schools. That combined with the already congested roads (estimated to be an additional 1,500 cars a day) is a recipe for disaster.
In the past the Picnic Point Valley has experienced slides that have cost Snohomish County millions of dollars. How many times last winter did we hear that the Sounder Train was delayed due to slides? Repairing this damage is a horrendous cost to taxpayers. The homes that were affected by the slides were built on property that Snohomish County deemed safe. History has proved they were wrong. Unfortunately, this was the same scenario that happened in the horrific tragedy in Oso.
With the advent of airline traffic at Paine Field, this 22-acre forest provides a buffer to the noise. At least 41 different kinds of birds live and breed in the forest in addition to the wildlife. There is a nearby creek with salmon and the entire valley is a watershed area.
There are no benefits to Snohomish County if this development is allowed to be built. Once this 22 acre forest with trees up to 100 years old and wildlife habitat is gone there is no going back. Snohomish County will be left with overcrowded schools (at a cost to the taxpayers to pass additional levies), more congestion on the roads, a salmon-bearing creek and watershed area destroyed forever and a possibility of landslides that can have dire consequences.
Barbara James Tupper