Point Wells update: It’s not over ’til it’s over

Given the proximity of the proposed Point Wells development to Woodway and Edmonds, we are sharing this update from our friends at Shoreline Area News, written by Jerry Patterson, Richmond Beach Community Association Vice President, Point Wells Subcommittee

Because of the flurry of happenings swirling through Point Wells, the Richmond Beach Community Association Board has scheduled a special June meeting: Tuesday, June 11, 7:30 p.m., Richmond Beach Congregational Church, 1512 N.W. 195th St., lower level.

Invited to the meeting are City of Shoreline officials, Save Richmond Beach (SRB) officers, Town of Woodway officials, representatives of the developer Blue Square Real Estate (BSRE) and Councilmember Rod Dembowski of Metropolitan King County Council District 1. Given what’s been happening, this promises to be an informative session for all Richmond Beach residents.

So what’s the big deal all of a sudden?

A couple of dramatic things have happened. First, on June 4, we learned that the Washington State Supreme Court has agreed to hear SRB and Woodway’s appeal. The Court will review the Court of Appeals decision that ruled the Point Wells developer has vested rights to build 3,000-plus units. Second, in late May, the Governor signed a bill, approved by both chambers of the legislature, that could dramatically affect the issue of Point Wells annexation.

Senate Bill 5417 would give the Town of Woodway the ability to annex Point Wells. This would give it control over the development process for Point Wells. Right now, that power sits in the lap of Snohomish County officials, and they have seemed reluctant to address the myriad of concerns expressed over the impacts to both Shoreline and Woodway.

The City of Shoreline has been working with the developer (BSRE) on a traffic study but they acknowledge that, with the exception of counting cars, they have very limited leverage to get BSRE to reduce the scale of the project. If Woodway annexes the Point Wells property, they would assume control of the development process and, in their view, would have much more leverage than Snohomish County or Shoreline in trying to limit the impacts of the development’s size.

The City of Shoreline opposed Woodway’s annexation efforts and argued the City should have the right to annex. With the battle lines drawn, from May 18- 21, both the City of Shoreline and Town of Woodway engaged in a frenzy of lobbying efforts to persuade the Governor to see the issue from their respective positions.

In addition, on May 16, the Town of Woodway issued a letter to the City of Shoreline that said the Town is prepared, in the event of SB 5417 being signed into law, to meet with the City to begin negotiations on an interlocal agreement. More specifically, Mayor Nichols stated in the letter, “The agreement would include our commitment to ensuring that the impacts to your transportation infrastructure created by the development at Point Wells are appropriately mitigated, both on a one-time and ongoing basis.” We have not heard of any communication by the City of Shoreline with Woodway in response to the Woodway letter.

If you’ve been snoozin’ you’ve been losing!

Within the past month, several RBCA Board members have heard from the community that either “it’s a done deal. Nothing we can do to change things,” or to the other extreme, “It’s not going to happen. The Courts have taken care of things.” Clearly neither perspective is accurate. As the Richmond Beach Community News has repeatedly reported over the past year, a lot is happening, and it is not “over til it’s over.” And snoozing is no excuse for inaction.

We urge community members to stay on top of what’s transpiring. We urge you to come to our June 11 RBCA Community Meeting to hear the most up-to-date news on where things stand and where things are likely headed. See you there!

  1. The wise Man builds his house upon the rock; the foolish Man builds his house upon the sand.

    Imagine this place as a nature preserve / park, just imagine…

  2. What a sad mess. I’m usually supportive of dense development, but this is not an appropriate place for it. Woodway’s annexation should be contingent on approving a second vehicular access route to the site (from Woodway – 238th St?) so that future traffic would be divided on north and south routes rather than concentrated on one already congested path.

    Some economically sound use that is compatible with its’ neighbors can be found for the site. I could envision a successful high-end hotel / resort with some modest retail, entertainment and 150-250 condo units, nothing exceeding 4 stories and a shuttle to connect with the community. Think of the Coronado in San Diego as a model… The developers want to maximize value. You can do that by jam packing a site with dense activity, or by creating something special and unique that attracts luxury demand. The former is pretty obviously turning out to be a horrible strategy. Why not try the latter?

  3. Woodway is small, thinks small, values small. I like that about Woodway. I like that about my own neighborhood (Richmond Beach in Shoreline). I am convinced that Woodway annexation of Point Wells offers the best chance of preserving my neighborhood.

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