Letter to the editor: The essence of Edmonds



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.

Marty Jones  



7 Replies to “Letter to the editor: The essence of Edmonds”

  1. I disagree. Edmonds will have its views..but Edmonds needs a great hotel, a place where people can stay and enjoy those beautiful views, more viewing areas.. We were told 12 -15 years ago that if we didn’t provide a great plan for redevelopment the port could imminent domain or just do without the cities recommendation. That came out of the report we (chamber, city, port) hired. A professional company (their advice cost thousands and they had other wonderful recommendations the city didn’t do.)on how to improve Edmonds for the future. One of the things that same city plan did do was to permit outside seating for restaurants. (It had been illegal). They warned that if you didn’t have a future plan something would happen you may not want.


    1. I would just like to point out that Edmonds already has a great hotel- the Harbor Inn. It’s not too big, not too small, and it will never block anyone’s views of the Puget Sound. Our guests routinely remark upon the unique charm of Edmonds, and its cozy, friendly, seaside village vibe. They also routinely express their fervent hope that Edmonds doesn’t go the usual expansion route, turning into just another overbuilt, expensive tourist trap for the rich. I grew up in Florida. I’ve seen how that goes. It’s utterly depressing. I’ve only been here for three years, but Edmonds has really grown on me. I’d hate to see it ruined. Marty Jones is 100% correct. You absolutely cannot go back. You must choose wisely, now.


  2. We have lived in Edmonds for two years now and very much appreciate the green spaces and environmentally important areas found in Edmonds and surrounding areas. One of these areas, the Edmonds Marsh, is nationally known as a birding hotspot and brings nature enthusiasts from all over the country to bird watch and do photography. Also, one of several reasons we moved to Edmonds is that we found a town that we could enjoy and find peace in a turbulent world.

    But it always seems development comes first and the environment that makes a city or town worth living in comes last. We need new insights into how we can preserve what is left and at the same time maintain a sound economic base. For these reasons, and because we firmly believe that if the country is to survive the onslaught of the despoilers we need to start at the local level, we support the candidacies of Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Kristiana Johnson, Mike Nelson, Angela Harris, Susan Paine, and Lora Petso.


  3. Well said and thank you Marty Jones. And excellent comments from David Richman. I too will vote in agreement with these values.


  4. Twenty years ago I used to dream of living near the Kirkland waterfront. Not anymore! Now their waterfront streets are so congested that I usually just drive around and when I do go is almost impossible to find parking. Plus, it seems like the entire waterfront area is packed with condos- massive areas are completely shaded by tall buildings. I love Edmonds and I want to preserve our waterfront’s charming character and protect and enhance our natural habitats, including the marsh. I want Port Commissioners who will prioritize the environmental protection right alongside economic development, and therefore I will be voting for Angela Harris, Susan Paine, and Lora Petso.


  5. The clear and convincing argument presented by Marty Jones shows that the Port Commissioner election is about more than just the shoreline; it is about the character of Edmonds itself.
    Those of us who cherish Edmonds as a place of beauty and serenity will vote for Angela Harris, Susan Paine and Lora Petso.


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