The Edmonds waterfront brings thoughts of ducks, seagulls and herons, of the ferry, our beach parks, pathways and boardwalk, of the newly re-developed (code compliant) Salish Crossing, and of course, of our priceless Edmonds Marsh. These thoughts should bring the calm and peace that a waterfront evokes. Unfortunately, my thoughts of the Edmonds waterfront are fraught with anxiety.
The incumbent port commissioners have a plan for Harbor Square: an urban village with over 300 condominiums, in buildings that would loom 55 feet over the waterfront. The port’s adopted plan would privatize not only the views of the waterfront and of the Edmonds Marsh, it would privatize our public property.
At the ACE candidate forum, incumbent Johnston called the plan a “placeholder.” Gouge said it won’t be built as long as he is a commissioner. Faires said, “There is no other plan that makes economic sense. This is the only one that’s feasible.”
The Harbor Square Master Plan was adopted in 2012 in the Port’s strategic plan. In the five years since, no effort has been made by the port commissioners to change their plan. The incumbents are holding the community hostage to a future plan that will not protect our marsh, will not protect our views, and will not protect our publicly owned property from private ownership.
We do not have the right to degrade our habitat for a dubious economic fix. We do not have the right to abandon stewardship of the waterfront, for now and for future generations.
I am voting for Lora Petso, Susan Paine and Angela Harris for Edmonds Port Commission. They will re-open the Harbor Square Master Plan and initiate a broad community process to discuss a new and better vision for the future of the Edmonds waterfront.