Twenty-eight years ago while planning a move from the Midwest to Washington, I drove Highway 104 into Edmonds on a sunny May day and was awestruck by the vista in front of me — glistening water, snow-frosted mountains, vibrant businesses, and colorful flower baskets cascading from lampposts. It was love at first sight, and it grows stronger every year I live in our exquisite city.
Citizens of Edmonds have made it clear over the years that they do not want tall buildings in the downtown and waterfront areas. These spectacular views belong to everyone and need to be protected. There are many other locations in Edmonds that would be suitable for high density taller buildings.
It is disappointing that in the Port’s Harbor Square Master Plan (HSMP) they proposed a large condo complex with 55-foot buildings built as close as possible to our tidal wildlife sanctuary–the Edmonds Marsh. That is not what good environmental stewardship looks like. It is even more disappointing that after the city council did not approve the HSMP, the port kept it as their strategic plan and stated that they are waiting for a change in the city council to present this plan again (you can validate this by reading the Port minutes from March 1, 2017). Even though the port owns only the edge of the marsh, that edge is a critically important interface of nature and commercial property; any changes to Harbor Square must be in harmony with the wildlife neighbors next door.
Do you share my concern that once an “exception” is made to allow 55-foot buildings at Harbor Square, the floodgates will open and every developer will want the same “exception” because more height = more money for them? Imagine yourself driving through downtown or to the waterfront in a canyon of 55-foot buildings — is this what you want for yourself and for future generations? If we make the wrong decision, it can never be undone.
We need city council and port members who will assure that economic development enhances and protects our natural environment while also retaining the charm, character, and natural beauty that make Edmonds the gem of all Puget Sound cities. We only have one chance to get this right.
Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Kristiana Johnson, Mike Nelson, Angela Harris, Susan Paine, and Lora Petso share this vision to protect the essence of Edmonds. Please support them with your vote.