Edmonds City Council hears arguments in Point Edwards Building 10 appeal

Existing Point Edwards building.
Existing Point Edwards building.

Dozens of Edmonds and Woodway residents, along with the mayor and attorney for the Town of Woodway, gathered in the Edmonds City Council Chambers Tuesday night to urge the city council to overturn a decision by the City’s Architectural Design Board (ADB) approving a five-story, 85-unit apartment building for the Point Edwards development.

Those opposing the board’s decision as part of an official “closed record appeal” before the council, said that proposed structure — known as Building 10 because it is the final of 10 to be built in the development — not only doesn’t fit the character of Edmonds, it also is out of scale with the remaining nine Point Edwards buildings.

 

Speaking for the appellants, attorney Doug Purcell said that from the beginning, the entire Point Edwards project overlooking Puget Sound “was basically sold as a stairstep down the hill which would not intrude significantly into the view corridor.”

But Building 10, Purcell said, is “a monolithic building…much larger than anything else that is there, placed on top of this hillside at the very top of the hill where it’s going to be intrusive into the view corridors from all over the Edmonds area.

“The ABD is required to ensure that the building is consistent with the other buildings in Point Edwards,” Purcell said, adding that the board “is clearly erroneous because if one looks at this building… it is outscale. It’s five stories in height at the very top of the property.”

Among individuals speaking during the closed-record appeal — which requires that only “parties of record” from previous hearings can testify — were two current Point Edwards residents — both of whom said they were not told about plans for the five-story building when they purchased their condominiums. In fact, the residents say, they were shown a model of a much smaller three-story building that appeared to be nicely integrated into the existing development

But Rick Gifford, land use attorney for the Point Edwards developer, Pine Street LLC, told the council that “it has been planned and known since 2002 that there would be a large multi-family building on this project.” The Architectural Design Board followed the city’s own design guidelines in unanimously approving the building, Gifford added.

After hearing more than two hours of testimony and rebuttal and asking several questions of the involved parties, the council decided to delay a decision on the appeal until its Nov. 12 meeting, which will provide time for the information presented to be summarized and reviewed.

  1. What part of “NO” doesn’t the council understand!! This is getting just like the rest of the government, hear what they say and do whatever we want anyway. Government should listen to the people!!

  2. The Point Edwards residents always knew the final building would be large, but until very recently were led to believe it would be a four story not five story building with approximately
    60 homes, not 85 and that it would be part of the Point Edwards neighborhood, not separate from it. Additionally the ADB conclusion was not unanimous, there was one dissenting vote and that member has since offered his resignation, presumably because of disgust of the boards lack of enforcement of the city’s design codes.
    The city council needs to represent the wishes of the citizens of the city of Edmonds, not pave the way for a developer to violate the design standards so that profits are maximized.

  3. “Board members are appointed by the MAYOR with COUNCIL confirmation”…….EVERYTHING in Edmonds HAPPENS from the TOP DOWN…….The voters of this town need to let these people KNOW that they work for the residents of this town, and NOT the other way around!!………The people of Edmonds are not working for special interests states away! I’ve only lived here 4 years and never hear ANYTHING in this government except development, real estate and construction/planning……The people of Edmonds need to let these people know that they didn’t just fall off the turnip truck……Because it looks to me like these people are laughing all the way to the bank, at the expense of this most grand town.

  4. At its October 15 meeting, the City Council members were told repeatedly (by the Developer’s counsel) that they were not allowed to do anything regarding Building 10 except rule on the propriety of the ADB findings. This was to be expected from the Developer since he had nothing else to say in defense of the project.
    What was most disturbing, however, was that the Council was also advised by the Counsel for the City Council (yes, there is such a position) that they could not rule on such issues as public opinion, public interests, fairness of the process, past questionably legal quick-changes by the Developer, or just what is right for the Edmonds community.
    The Council was also polled by the Mayor to see if any member had had contact from non-members regarding the project. The implication was that Council members are not allowed to consider, or even listen to, input from City residents. The many emails, petitions, and phone calls submitted by the public were totally irrelevant.
    When did a prime function of the Council stop being to represent City residents? There has been a huge public outcry opposing the most recently revised Building 10 development. As far as I can determine, there has been no public support for it. The developer and several attorneys are in line to benefit from the project. The rest of us are going to pay for it in lost quality of life in our Community.

  5. Is it just me or is it ironic that the candidates on the Council up for re-election sat mute during the Council Q&A session and then coincidentally the ruling on this project was pushed to AFTER the election?

  6. Why does it strike anyone as odd, that a project that began with an illicit weekend clearcut of the hillside to improve views and profits, ends with anything less than a shameless money grab accomplished by a betrayal and abuse of the public trust. The process that should prioritize what’s best for the citizenry is once again being hijacked by politicians too weak in the knees to take a stand. The original developers were cut a break after giving the rest of us a big middle finger. If there is any legal means of stopping or scaling back this project our Mayor and the council are honor bound to go to the mat to shut this down before any more damage is done.

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