Letter to the editor: Make sure your voice is heard on housing strategy

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Editor:

There has been much recent discussion about a “housing strategy” in Edmonds, including an article in the Feb. 14, Everett Herald.  I urge all Edmonds’ citizens to monitor this issue closely and let your voices be heard. There are positive ideas to come out of a plan to address real population growth while preserving Edmonds’ charm, but those ideas should come from and/or be supported by our citizens. We want Edmonds to become “the city that did growth right.”

When a mayor and housing strategy advocates with connections to developers, the real estate industry, and special interests are making decisions and pushing for massive redevelopment in Edmonds, there is a problem. As the real stakeholders, the citizens of Edmonds must be the ones that make the decision about what the city will look like in the future. This is not a “backlash” as the Herald stated in its February 14harticle, but simply citizens demanding a voice at the table to plan for growth in a way that is reasonable, organic, and responsible. While concerned citizens are passionate and vocal at times, it may be out of frustration with the cronyism in Edmonds government. The same connected and like-minded applicants are appointed and reappointed to city commissions and boards.

The mayor has stated that Edmonds will need to accommodate an influx of 5,000 people, citing the Washington State Growth Management Act. What the mayor and the housing strategy proponents have been gleefully advocating goes way beyond that. It is their desire to see Edmonds remade according to their own vision which means Edmonds will be extensively redeveloped in every neighborhood. There is a groundswell of citizens who are letting them know that this is not what the citizens want. This is not a desire to “build a moat around Edmonds”, but responsible stewardship of our community. We are, in fact a compassionate community.

The predicted growth can be accommodated in the 99 corridor that has been zoned for multiple family housing and where there is nearby transportation and services. That, along with the new Westgate project, will meet the needs of the actual predicted population growth and supply needed affordable housing. This is a demonstrable fact and others active in Edmonds’ government have tried to bring it to light. Let your voices be heard on this issue!

Lynne Chelius
Edmonds

46 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Make sure your voice is heard on housing strategy”

  1. Hooray! Great letter with a measured approach. Your view is the one most people share. I agree let’s not let a small group of people who stand to make money and monopolize power spoil our community. I am so glad to see your letter and wholeheartedly agree! That Herald article was poorly reported and meant to steer people away from the truth.

    1. The City of Edmonds, just hates to tell taxpayers the truth:

      Feb 10,2017 My Edmonds News: re- The Westgate Bartell’s Village, The City of Edmonds stated: “approximately 59,100 square feet of multifamily residential (91 units), 3100 square feet of retail space, 10,360 square feet of underground structured parking (35 stalls), 2560 square feet of open-to-air on-grade structure parking, and 26,100 square feet on on-grade surface parking (71 stalls).” This would equate to approximately 9 on-grade structure parking stalls, and 62 surface parking/commercial stalls. Which includes parking for all commercial developments on the ground floor, including all employees who will work in those establishments.

      January 11, 2019, My Edmonds News: Shane Hope from the City of Edmonds stated “The project will add 91 residential units to the local housing base, 3,100 square feet of commercial area, and 121 parking spaces.”

      The reality is Shane is leading people on that all 121 parking spaces are for the 91 units built. Not at all Shane. Since the City of Edmonds refuses to provide accurate numbers, we can mathematically predict that there will only be one parking space for every two units, the same parking strategy Seattle has adopted for developments. Earling and his cronies are turning Edmonds into Seattle.

      Who is going to live there, people with no cars, or are they just going to start parking on side streets in your neighborhood, and at QFC?

      Taxpayers were sold down the river again to fullfill Earlings wants. There is no housing shortage in Edmonds, period. People who can afford to live here can buy, or rent a house. All Earling and City Hall are doing is forcing you to live with more traffic, more purposefully developed problems to address, all to make Edmonds into a copy of Seattle.
      The larger the city, the larger the taxation. Simple math.
      You will pay more taxes.

      I advise all Edmonds Citizens to go watch this City Council Meeting, 18 minutes in (public comments): Copy this link:
      http://edmondswa.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=2754&MinutesID=2264&Format=Minutes&MediaFileFormat=mpeg4

      1. You make an excellent point. The City is seeking to increase the tax base but not through property taxes as they know that has limits (state controls on annual increases and valuations) The Mayor said this when he noted that the 12-year property tax hiatus for Westgate would be worth it as the new residents would pay all these other taxes (utility, sales, etc.). Although it is interesting to note the City administrators claimed ignorance of the value of property taxes given up. This development will drastically increase congestion as the developer will set the rents at the top of the range and those who can afford it will be driving to work in Seattle/Bellevue. There is no feasible transit commuter route on SR104/100th and the City has discouraged transit increases in the bowl. More cars, more taxes, more demand on infrastructure all for the real-estate industrial complex to increase profits and only having to make a $1 Million dollar payoff to the City. These new residents will burden the schools which will have less funding for 12 years.

        1. Will the parking below grade be open parking, or pay parking?? I can almost guarantee it will be pay parking.

          Drive the side streets in Ballard, or in Greenwood, there is no parking anywhere.

  2. Great article Lynne Chelius, great points. no rush we Are in fact a small sea-side community, we can do our part to help the greater Puget Sound Region and share our community, being mindful of our central identity and small town feel. Thanks for having the guts to speak out, well said.

  3. Outstanding commentary. Well informed and well reasoned. Congratulations on bringing clarity to a very important issue that some in Edmonds are misrepresenting.
    This is an issue that will affect Edmonds in ways that can never be undone, and I would like to encourage all Edmonds voters to listen to voices like this one when voting for new government this fall.

  4. As an added note, the City Council will be considering if and how to form a Citizens Housing Commission at our next Tuesday meeting. I think you’ll find the information in the Council’s packet very supportive of Ms. Chellius’s comments. The packet can be found here… http://edmondswa.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx

    One feature of the proposal is a Zone Map of the city with the recommendation that we select a representative from each zone. The Council was generally favorable toward the idea of forming a Citizens Commission, now we need to nail down the details of how it will be formed.

    I fully agree with the challenge to be the City that does “growth right”. Let’s create the venue for those important conversations to happen.
    Neil

    1. Thanks Council person Mr. Tibbott for interacting with the people. I appreciate you having the confidence to respond. The representative from each zone/neighborhood makes absolute sense. Let’s have the actual neighborhoods nominate someone from each district (this is starting to sound like the Hunger games)? We are a small community, there Adults they can organize (already have) and can nominate a person to represent them? if the local government has aspirations to reshape and re-characterize entire neighborhoods from single family homes to 5 story apartment buildings (multi-family) the people living there currently should be the ones deciding it? Local ACE group had a nice story about a month ago pointing out the flaws and inefficiencies of self appointments by our leadership. https://myedmondsnews.com/2019/01/letter-to-the-editor-transparency-in-city-processes-need-improvement/ Why don’t you pass this around to your fellow council members see if we can’t make some of there recommendations for the sake of efficient Democracy and proper Representative government? Ms. Chelius makes a wonderful discovery in this Letter to editor HWY 99 with it’s revitalization plans and public transportation infrastructure current and future plans makes perfect and reasonable sense to focus the affordable and multi-family housing there, and it will achieve State Mandates in well excess and help out are neighbor to the south. The community is asking why are we looking to go beyond that? Why does a small group of people feel its there task to rezone vast parts of Edmonds? I realize Seattle lost 90,000 affordable units, they are city of nearly 1 Million people, we are a small sea-side unique village community, sorry if you guys did not get the memo we are not a vast urban metropolis in need of utilitarian signage and overly ambitious vast housing strategies. We can’t even fix pot holes and sidewalks around our town ( I know Neil your working on this issue, I appreciate it, waiting for some results).

    2. If you read carefully you’ll see the criteria to be considered for the committee (if indeed they form one) excludes most of us who would disagree with what has already been brought forward. They have intentionally crafted the criteria to arrive at selecting the same type of people from the real estate industrial complex and social justice ranks who were originally appointed. The outcome will be the same as now. They’ve altered the administrative processes so they can rezone when and where they want and repeat the low barrier Blockables project anywhere within 1 block of an arterial. Any further committees will be lip service to secure the minds of those in the bowl they are safe. If you live in area 7 you are already impacted without recourse. The City, the rich and there investor class are implementing the medieval model of nobles in the center, select upper class in the next ring then a buffer ring of working class between them and the peasant ring on the outer edge where they collect their taxes and mingle with the underworld for fun. The working class has no clout as you can see … rent or own?, know of housing issues across all of puget sound (why not just Edmonds), tenure of residency (no newcomers).

      1. Refreshing to see that people are actually doing their homework!!
        We need many more like you MJ to take Edmonds back.

        1. Part of any committee should be study and recommendation of rent control. Consider that the average rent per square foot in the area is $1.20 – $1.30 for custom homes. But the Compass Housing low barrier project already approved will charge $700/month for 250 square feet or $2.80 per square foot. The housing is not affordable it is simply scaled down to fit the income levels where they can fleece the working poor and charge double (why wouldn’t three lower income people join eac other and rent a nice home for $2100/mo?). The cost per square foot to build here is around $375 for a custom home but the Compass project partner Blockables charges $200/sq ft. So if they are building for less why renting out for more? Look at the numbers and do the math. Let’s see the enacting of real and fair policy not just lining the pockets of the same elite rich.

  5. What many miss is that the Washington State Growth Management Act is NOT mandatory, it is a recommendation…and that is all it is. It is cited all the time as mandated….it is not!

    1. I was thrilled with what you said Donald, but looking at the MRSC web site, it doesn’t sound like what you said is right.
      “The Governor has the authority to impose sanctions on cities, counties, and state agencies that do not comply with the GMA, as determined by the Growth Management Hearings Board (see RCW 36.70A.340 – .345). Sanctions may include withholding portion of one or more of the following:

      Motor vehicle fuel tax;
      Transportation improvement account;
      Rural arterial trust account;
      Sales and use tax;
      Liquor profit tax;
      Liquor excise tax; and/or
      Temporarily rescinding the city’s/county’s authority to collect REET”

  6. Mr. Williams comment above begs the question of what happens if there is no plan at all for growth?
    There is only so much land and so many ways to develop the available land that is left. When you choose to allow the building of huge houses, condominiums, and apartments on postage stamp size lots you automatically limit parking options, green belt options, large tree options and on and on with all the population issues coming to fore in our now not so little town. If there is no plan, you end up with large apartments with no on site parking, sky scrapers on the waterfront and, in short, a rough copy of the city of Kirkland. Not sure what the answers are but I know what the results will be, if things are just left to happen in the area of development.

  7. The City of Edmonds has always met it’s targets and Mr. Williams is correct-these are estimations and can be altered. I was our local housing group Snohomish County Tomorrow when these estimates first came out and Evertt’s growth targets looked like a hockey stick. Woodway’s had a doubling in population or 2,000 more people. So, let’s concentrate on smart housing choices as there are many legislative bills currently in Olympia dealing with affordable housing.

    Personally, I wanted to remove the 2019 Housing Stategy requirement completely from the Comprehensive Plan so that the Administration can refocus on code updates and rewrites. Having said that I am in support of the formation of a codified housing commission which Mr. Tibbott and I introduced last year. This commission can thoughtfully approach affordable housing and deal with the lessons learned from ARCH housing in Seattle.

    1. Woodway will not increase it’s density, or adapt to any such regulation.

      Diane, so the Washington State Growth Management Act is NOT mandatory, as Edmonds City Hall has proclaimed for years. It is only Olympias desire, is that correct?

  8. Woodway is another development and housing issue, all in itself, that impacts Edmond’s Municipal financial stability. Basically a bunch of relatively wealthy large estate owners, in that area, got together and Incorporated a town sight so they could enjoy the benefits and amenities of the City of Edmonds without paying a large share of the taxes for those nice close amenities. Attempts of various Mayors to facilitate the annexation of the Woodway area go way back and have always been rebuffed by the residents of that “town” for obvious reasons. Hence, you have a town next door that has no real business center, viable public library system, police force or city park system. It exists to perpetuate exclusivity (large estates and wooded land) and municipal tax evasion. Sweet set up and there isn’t much Edmonds can do about it. Personally, I think Edmonds should cancel any and all contracts of providing services to Woodway and invite them to either annex to Edmonds or survive on their own as best they can.

    1. I totally agree. When researching the blokables project at the Edmonds Lutheran Church site, the name Bill Anderson kept popping up. He is a Woodway city councilman, he was appointed to sit on the Edmonds housing strategy task force, finance director at the Edmonds Lutheran Church, and affiliated with Compass Housing Alliance. The woodway council worked hard to acquire 3.9 million dollars in state and federal funds for open spaces and parks in Woodway- they want to be sure there is no opportunity for low income housing in their vicinity. Just build it in our neighborhoods.

      1. You are so right. I am sure Mr. Anderson will be toasting his altruism at the uocoming Compass Housing gala. It is only $200/plate so he’ll probably have several. Tasting wines, eating at the 4 Seasons in Seattle all as his big success grinds the neighboring resident’s lives down. I am sure there will be a statue to Mr. Anderson erected using funds collected from Edmonds “gateway” residents. Of course that is because local codes prohibit unsightly construction in Woodway and historic Edmonds so it will be built near Hwy 99.

  9. Mr. Wright,
    Your comments are unfactual, and it only shows you know nothing about Woodway, or it’s Histroy.
    Woodway still retains it’s own Police Department, even to this day. Edmonds only provides added support for specific calls. I suggest you read The Edmonds Beacon Article regarding the joint agreement.
    You state it has “no real business center”, again you are factually wrong—- it has NO Business Center. It does have a new City Hall, a very nice one at that. Woodway has no Library, and without paying a fee, can not use Edmonds Library. No burden on Edmonds.
    “Municipal Tax Evasion” ??
    You are correct, there is nothing Edmonds will ever do about it.
    Park System? Who needs a Park System, the entire development was designed to be like a Park, just not open to the Public. If you don’t like Woodway, run your Edmonds 4th of July Run thru some other town.
    And if you don’t like Woodway citizens in Edmonds, for your information: a lot of the resturant’s are owned by Woodway residents, Salish Crossing is owned by a Woodway Resident.
    If you think Woodway Residents are the evil people you portray, you better think twice of the financial impact on Edmonds if they quit coming into Edmonds.
    It is quite obvious you do not know what you are talking about, but your hatred of Woodway shines thru.
    And Thank God, Dave Earling will never be the Mayor of Woodway.

      1. “for the most part”, kind of invalidates your statement.

        To come out and vilify Woodway residents, and the town due to the stated desire that Edmonds does not get to Tax Woodway, is stupidity at it’s best.

        I would suggest people learn the history of Woodway. It was not started to evade taxation, another ignorant statement.

        I am afraid your construing the personal desires of one person who happens to live in Woodway, and belongs to a specific Church, and agrees with what his Church desires to do, as some form of blanket statement that everyone in Woodway is in staunch support of any Churches position, on any subject. One persons, personal choice. Or, that Woodway residents have the attitude of build low income in Edmonds, but not in our backyard.
        If Edmonds residents don’t like what goes on in their city, VOTE in new PEOPLE.

        Woodway is full of Individuals, some rich, some not, just like any town. Lots of families, now lots of young families with children, which is great. To come out and blame Woodway residents for Edmonds mounting financial problems, rather insane.

        Edmonds squanders money, how much was spent on the Sunset Walk Project? How many hundreds of thousands of dollars?
        How much was spent on Earlings fantasy train trench idea? A hundred, maybe $200K on studies.
        The Edmonds City Council just tabled $300-350K for a study of Five Corners!! Did you forget—–It’s all private property….
        I sat at an Edmonds City Council meeting where the public works department wanted a new suction truck, just because their truck was old, nothing wrong with it, just old. $ 500K, voted right thru.
        The sidewalks in Edmonds are a joke, probably the worst in the Sate. Can’t fix the sidewalks, but City Hall can throw away hundreds and hundreds of thousand on studies regarding worthless ideas.
        How much is it costing the taxpayers in Edmonds for the ongoing court case to try and steal private property from a condo association on the waterfront, how much? Pretending they have some legal right to their property, so Edmonds can extend a walkway? Is it over $500K now, or closing in on $1 Million.

        You want to blame people for Edmonds mounting problems, look at who runs Edmonds, don’t blame Woodway. That is the ONLY point I ever stated.

    1. And there it is. The vitriolic threats from the elite rich and powerful to “pull their money out”. Please do and take your low barrier housing project with you! I can’t afford to eat at your fancy restaraunts so no big deal. But if you pull your support of the homeleass camp at Edmonds Lutheran I will benefit greatly so seems like a win if Woodway abandons Edmonds to me.

  10. Conclusion leaping once again. I do not hate anyone in Woodway. I have friends who live in Woodway. I’m simply stating the truth about Woodway. It is a “town” for the sole purpose of perpetuating a particular life style for the cheapest possible price. As you say in your comment, there is no business center. Same point I made in my earlier comment. Therfore, why call it a town?. You call it a town so you can have your own codes, zoning, tax structure etc. The people that thought this up many years ago were simply smart and created themselves a very sweet deal. I didn’t accuse anyone of being “evil”. In fact the accusations seem to be coming from your direction, not mine.

  11. There is a good thumbnail sketch of Woodway’s history on line if anyone wants to check it out. Basically, Woodway was an unincorporated very upscale residential area started by a wealthy guy last named Whitcomb about 1912. It was plotted as large estates and residences as per the standards of the day and called Woodway Park. The area incorporated in 1958 as the fourth class city of Woodway in order to prevent being annexed by Edmonds in a movement which began in Edmonds in 1957. This was openly hailed as to “prevent development in the area and remain independent.” The Woodway Park residents of the period got together to petition for fourth class city status which they technically couldn’t qualify for due to their low population density. They proceeded to lower their property size standards and requirements a bit and bring in a couple of adjacent more densely populated unincorporated neighborhoods to squeak by on the population issue. Ever since it has been an upscale residential neighborhood that calls itself a “town.” They really don’t have the tax base to be a true town, nor any “downtown,” so they depend on Edmonds to contract for the services they can’t practically provide for themselves. They depend on Edmonds to provide the downtown type services they need and want. They use the Edmond’s zip code and if you look at their points of interest on the website they are pretty much Edmond’s landmarks and in fact in Edmonds. In short I rest my case that they indeed have a sweet deal. All of Edmond’s good points at their disposal and beck and call, with little to no financial skin in the game to help solve Edmond’s problems. On the subject of Bill Anderson’s involvement in the housing issue, I know him, and he is a good guy who’s trying to help solve the ever expanding homelessness and affordable housing issue in our region thru his Church. But, as usual, the devil is in the details and Bill’s activism has caused concern and fear in the minds of equally good people who live in the area adjacent to Edmonds Lutheran who will be impacted by whatever happens there. The only real answer is for all interested parties to sit down together and hash it out as to how things will be handled if the feared problems become a reality. I started out this whole issue on the side of the Church but I’m starting to have second thoughts, based on MJ’s comments and calculations and how these good residents near by are feeling a run over in the process. It would be good to know why the “affordable” housing offered is so expensive on a square foot basis. I would guess it’s because of the support staff and services provided by Compass, but that is just a guess.

  12. Clinton,
    On Feb 18th, above, you stated the follow regarding the formation of Woodway: “It exists to perpetuate exclusivity (large estates and wooded land) and municipal tax evasion. ”

    Please provide evidence to back up your acquisition that the Town of Woodway was founded to facilitate “Municipal Tax Evasion”, as you so openly stated. You must have some FACTS to defend your criminal acquisition against the Town of Woodway and it residents. Please provide the facts, Clinton.

  13. As a causal observer of how Woodway provides services to it citizens, it looks like they use a subcontracting model. They subcontract police services because it is more cost effective than staffing for full time 24/7 police services. For fire services they subcontracted to Edmonds, then to Fire District 1 and recall they now contract with Shoreline for their fire service. They have chosen to not be part of the SnoIsle Library system. Funding is property tax based and their costs for full services would be among the highest in the system. They would subsidize others even more than the subsidy Edmonds provides to other cities. They can use the library but cannot get a library card to use all the services provided. Living close to Shoreline and Edmonds gives them the opportunity to use civic facilities like parks, beaches, and the dog park without paying taxes to support these services.

    None of this is illegal but does appear to be a clever use of services and facilities to save money for their citizens.

  14. Brent. I’ve studied the history of Woodway as I indicated in my comments above. The town exists solely for the purpose of NOT being a part of Edmonds or subject to Edmond’s taxes, rules of development, building codes city ordinances etc. At the time of Incorporation, Woodway Park residents couldn’t come up with enough “residents” to meet the requirement to be a fourth class city so they recruited a couple adjoining neighborhoods to join them as “Woodway.” The way they presented this to the other neighborhoods was that they would be able to prevent unwanted development, maintain independence from Edmonds and not have to pay Edmond’s higher taxes. The only person who called this criminal was you, by the way. Who in their right mind wouldn’t prefer that to being in Edmonds, if they had the choice at the time. It’s pretty easy for these Woodway folks to sit in their pretend town now and spout off about Edmonds and all of it’s faults, money wasting, and bad management. Brent, my friend, I think you are a little too quick to call people you don’t agree with “stupid” and “ignorant.” You might want to tone the name calling down a little. Doesn’t add much to the conversation. In fairness Edmonds and Woodway residents are both pretty good at the “not in my backyard” game. I can really see where the folks up by Edmonds Lutheran feel a little put out by some guy from Woodway trying force low income housing into their neighborhood which means just as much to them as his does to him in Woodway. Maybe a nice low income affordable housing project should be considered next to the shiny new Woodway City Hall. How about some low income apartments being built in Emerald Hills?

    1. Clinton, often your research helps us all in the understand of how things are and what might be solutions to our civic issues. Your study of the history of Woodway helps us all understand how things turned out the way they are today. Hopefully you will be willing to do the same historical study of Emerald Hills to help put your comment about building apartments in Emerald Hills. To save you time and set the stage for your usual good research here is some history of EH based on information available at the City, County and State records.

      EH is a Planned Unit Development approved by the City Council in 1969. It consists of 61 residential lots located north of Main Street both east and west of 12th Ave. To develop the property EH build a road system, install more than ½ mile of sidewalks, installed water and sewer services, placed underground electrical, gas, old style copper telephone wires, and old-style coax tv cables. Over the years EH has added new style coax cables and fiber optic lines, all underground. The roads and sidewalks have been deeded to the city for public use. Research shows the installation of 4 planter islands, a trail system, a 60,000+ sq ft park and a 1600 ft green build along the north side of Main Street. The maintenance of these amenities is paid for by EH. City records show that when the 200+ trees began to die and fail, EH at its own expense replaced all the green belt area with landscaping to complement it neighbor Yost Park on the south side of Main Street. Research shows the award-winning landscaping has improved public safety and has never caused a power or communication outage. EH managed the Urban Forest area long before the term began to be used by others. Research shows there are dangerous trees on both sides of Main that have caused power and communication outages. These trees are owned by the City and private property owners and have not been managed in a way to optimize public safety.

      Clinton, to your suggestion of building apartments in EH, the short answer backed up by historical research is “Been there, proposed that, but the City rejected the Plan”. Research shows the developer of EH proposed fewer single-family homes and apartments and condos on the south end of the development along Main Street. Researching Council and Staff remarks made back in 1969 suggest the rejection was based on the City’s desire to get more roads and sidewalks developed than create more variety of housing.

      Clinton, elsewhere on MEN you suggested that the free market would work best and actually allow for more slum lords to the Edmonds housing market. The original development of EH with apartments which now would be over 40 years old may well have provided those slums you referenced. Using the free market today to build apartments in EH would not only require code changes but with current land and construction costs the value of any apartments would exceed the value of the Westgate development by at least a factor of 2. Not really low income affordable. But your other suggestion of using chain gangs to do work may provide some opportunities to reduce the cost of construction. Unlikely current regulations would allow the use of this type of nonunion labor.

      Should you wish to learn more about the EH research just give a shout out and it can be arranged.

    2. Clinton,

      First, there was a small group of Woodway Park residents who did not want to be part of Edmonds, for any reason. Not for your stated purpose of “Municipal Tax Evasion”, which only begs to question your comprehension of taxation. If you understood taxation, the formation of Woodway would have only diverted the taxes which were assessed from Snohomish County, from the unincorporated area, to the newly formed Town of Woodway. So, even thru the formation of the Township of Woodway, there was no “Tax Evasion”, period. Maybe re-direction of funds, a Journal Entry at best, but nothing as outlandish as “Municipal Tax Evasion” as you cited. As you stated “I’m simply stating the truth about Woodway”, really?

      Second, you are incorrect as to the additional areas which joined onto the formation of the Town of Woodway. The Twin Maples development which joined the formation of Woodway was under assault for annexation by the City of Seattle. Twin Maples did not want to become part of Seattle, and they were more than happy to join onto the formation of the Town of Woodway. Shoreline, years later, no longer wanted to be part of Seattle, and split off. Esperance wants nothing to do with Edmonds and their multiple attempts at annexation, so I guess they are guilty of “Municipal Tax Evasion” in Clinton’s World as well. And you stated “I’m simply stating the truth about Woodway”, really?

      Third, The formation of Woodway was facilitated by a group of residents within “Woodway Park”, after all they lived in “Woodway Park”, the location where they had purchased property, and they were not about to become, or to be changed by Edmonds. Out of the people who Incorporated the Town of Woodway, there remains one person who is still surviving, the others have all passed on. The remaining person who Incorporated the Town of Woodway, is the longest term property owner in Woodway, and was also the signing President on the Original Town of Woodway documents.
      That person…… is my Father in Law, who still resides in Woodway. As you stated “I’m simply stating the truth about Woodway”, really? I guess you know more than my Father in Law, who formed the Town of Woodway…

      Clinton I know the facts from the person who Incorporated Woodway, my Father in Law, obviously you do not. And the insinuation that it was “Municipal Tax Evasion”, made solely by you Clinton, is nonfactual, untruthful, and inaccurate. He founded the Town of Woodway, knows exactly every detail of how it was started, and why it was created. Your statements are misleading and incorrect, yet you talk like you are some formal expert on “Woodway”. When people state outrageous mendacities, such as formed for “Municipal Tax Evasion”, yep— I will respond, and yep, you may not like the reply. I did not write the outright mendacity, you did Clinton.

      Clinton, and your fabrication of “facts” and placing them on MEN, ads to intellectual discussion?

      I see Clinton, as you stated “I’m simply stating the truth about Woodway” It’s clear for everyone to see it’s YOUR own……version of the truth.

      Apparently you have never read my Opinions on MEN. I am not in favor of high density housing anywhere, especially when it is done by selective variances to make developers happy and rich. Commercial developers do not develop…..out of altruism. Five Corners is next, if Edmonds citizens want to fight the fight, better start now to stop the zoning changes coming for Five Corners.

  15. Greetings Darrol. I enjoy your well thought out comments to MEN. Some of my comments you referenced in your latest comment were meant as total satire in relation to some other’s observations I read in MEN. I apologize if you or any other reader’s took some of my rantings seriously. I moved to Edmonds with my family at the age of 13 in 1961. “Woodway” was founded in 1958 and it’s inception was still a bit of a hot topic around here. I also lived in the area when EH was developed just up the hill from where I live now (my old family home). Back then the area was referred to humorously as “Hubbard’s Folly”, since it was considered as useless real estate by the general populace. Owner “Hubbard” had the last laugh on that. What I’m trying to bring out in all this discourse about homelessness, home affordability and who gets to build what where, is that there is a whole lot of “anywhere but next to me” going on in and around Edmonds. At a personal level, I’m trying to get all the “isms”, “ologys” and preconceived notions of P.C. out of my old head and perceive the problems outside of those boxes we tend to put ourselves in. I totally and freely admit I’m personally irritated that I now have to call Edmonds High School, Edmonds – Woodway High School and the “Tiger’s” are gone forever since we seem to have to keep the pretend city citizens next door happy. Isn’t it time to start asking what that is all about? I mean, does a 20 year old Crown Victoria and three rent -a-cops equal a full blown police department really capable of reciprocity in response to public threats? Don’t get me wrong, I support the folks in Woodway having the right to call themselves a town, but I don’t support Edmonds and Shorline aiding and abetting them in their delusion that they are really a functioning town like Edmonds and Shorline are.

    1. In reality Woodway is getting a good deal by subcontracting for Police from Edmonds and Fire from Shoreline. Edmonds subcontracts is Fire from FD1 or whatever it is called now. From the details I have seen for Police, Edmonds received more than its marginal cost to provide services for WW and they get a good deal vs providing the full complement of a force. Regional sharing can reduce costs for both.

      What Edmonds taxpayers need to be concerned about is any move to stop paying for our Fire services out of the general fund and be forced to move to a new taxing model for paying directly for Fire. If not done correctly it could cost our tax payer more and be a form of hidden tax increase for Edmonds taxpayers.

  16. Developers are probably drooling over all the land in the Woodway area…Imagine all of the beautiful affordable housing units that could be built there. Clear cut all of the trees. Tear down all of those large single family homes. Replace them with high rise versions of what was just built next to Bartells.

    …just sayin’

    1. They’re a step ahead of you on that one. The city council acquired 3.9 million dollars from the state and county level for park and open land spaces!!!!

  17. Clinton,
    You made the following statement above regarding Woodway “It exists to perpetuate exclusivity (large estates and wooded land) and municipal tax evasion.”

    Please provide proof or documents to validate your assertion that Woodway participated in “Municipal Tax Evasion.” You must have some facts to support such a claim.

    Please provide the facts to validate your statement. Thank you.

  18. Why does the pretend city of private parks need public funds for parks and open spaces? Woodway is supposedly the original tree museum set aside in our area to discourage over development of the land. Sounds like they are succeeding beyond their wildest dreams on that one. Hope to shout Woodway is getting a good deal on their police and fire protection. No public unions to deal with, no long term pension and health care benefits to fund and administer, no real need for an HR department and all the expensive rules and regulations that entails. I suspect an honest cost/benefit analysis of all the factors involved in this funding would show that Woodway is getting a very good deal indeed; pretty much at someone else’s expense I suspect. Lots of us folks need to keep asking the local Pols lots of uncomfortable questions. For example, I’d like to know why my friend was not allowed to subdivide the property across from me to build a new house on a substandard size lot. Fast forward 30 years later and sure enough the city allowed the new owner to do exactly that. That city action 30+ years ago cost my friend thousands of dollars. I’d like to know why I can tear my house down and build set back to set back and 25 ft. high and the city would be all in with it. On the other hand, if I approached the city to build an ADU of 800 sq. ft. the city would not approve based on putting a multiple dwelling on a single lot. And, guess what, that is exactly what exists across the street from me grandfathered in much to the benefit of the current owners. I’m certainly looking forward to some new political thinking in this town. I’d sure like to see two people run for the Mayor position. That is just such a crucial and powerful position that a coronation just seems wrong. Alicia Crank, please let your opponent have the Council position and run for Mayor against Nelson. Or vice versa. You and Vivian Olsen should get together over coffee and talk about that possibility. You are both needed in my opinion.

  19. Below is a tax table showing the rate of taxation per 1000 for WW and for ED. On my screen the numbers line up in cols and hopefully when displayed they will line up correctly. For each tax the rate is shown first for WW and then ED. As you see the tax rates are identical except of what each pays to its local government for services like fire, police, parks and what ever they pay for out of the general fund for each city. You will see that WW provides all its services for $.15/1000 less than what ED taxpayers are charged. ED does pay for library services and WW does not. All the discussion about outsiders like Lynnwood, Shoreline, MLT, Seattle or WW using ED parks and restaurants and car dealers still hold but the basics of taxes collected coming to ED to use parks and the fact remains WW collects more for providing municipal services than ED. 1.57 to 1.42 Just some tax rates to show who pays what.
    TAX WW ED
    CENTRAL PUGET SOUND REGIONAL TRANSIT AUT 0.21 0.21
    EDMONDS SCHOOL DISTRICT NO 15 3.76 3.76
    PORT OF EDMONDS 0.07 0.07
    PUB HOSP #2 0.07 0.07
    SNOHOMISH COUNTY-CNT 0.72 0.72
    STATE 2.57 2.57
    TOWN OF WOODWAY 1.57
    CITY OF EDMONDS 1.42
    SNO-ISLE INTERCOUNTY RURAL LIBRARY 0.47
    TOTAL 8.97 9.29

    1. Woodway is actually collecting far more dollars per piece of property because their average assessed value is more than double that of Edmonds.

    2. Sorry about the numbers not lining up above. What the numbers say is all tax rates are the same for all the services except the Town or City tax and Library Tax. Woodway pays 1.57/1000 for town tax and Edmonds pays 1.42/1000 for its City tax. Edmonds also pays a Library tax of .47/1000 and Woodway does not. It should be noted that all of Woodway pays a Port tax and only the western part of Edmonds pays a Port tax.

      When it come to open and transparent govt we should be able to see what taxes we pay to help assess the cost of the tax vs value received. The $4m EMS tax does not show up as a line item. Why is it not shown?

  20. It seems to me that the real question here is, “what would Woodway residents be paying per $1000 assessed valuation town tax; if they actually had to pay the real costs of City services over time?” Ron’s point only says they pay more per parcel because their parcels are bigger and have more assessed value. With lower density population and bigger lot/house sizes, it’s only logical that the individual owner would pay more individually than in Edmonds. There is strength in numbers so to speak. If we (surrounding real towns) didn’t make it so easy for Woodway to be a pretend town, maybe they would see the light and join one of us in solving our real City problems. We could have Edmond’s High School back, along with our Tiger mascot and history. Ex Mayor Hackkenson tried to facilitate some of this happening but got shot down for his efforts.

  21. Brent my friend, I just love how your rebuttals make my points for me. “First Woodway was started by a group of Woodway residents who didn’t want to be part of Edmonds for any reason.” Hence my point that the town exists simply to be Not Edmonds. A large part of not being Edmonds is not paying taxes for Edmond’s services but happily using the hell out of them when needed and wanted. That’s my point. Pretty simple. Let’s see its 1957 and I just built a nice house in Maple Park and Seattle wants to come in and tax me for services. But I can join Woodway town and pay their taxes which is bound to be less than Edmonds. Plus they need me because they can’t be a “town” without me. That was the thinking back then. I could care less if Woodway exists or doesn’t exist or that your Father In Law was an illustrious founder. I’m sure it was all because he loved trees and big yards with few neighbors close by. I just want Edmonds and Shoreline to wise up and quit subsidizing the joint and I want my damn High School back.

  22. Could someone tell me what a “criminal acquisition” is? I’ve been accused of making one by someone who says I’m stupid. Just curious.

  23. Being stupid and acquiring something in a criminal way is not your MO. You are thoughtful, passionate about your views, and do listen to others. Maybe they are saying you stole someones ideas!, That a joke. Keep thinking, keep discussing, but worry less about Woodway, they to have a right to take advantage to their surroundings. Just like Edmonds folks can go to the Mall if they want. We really should give greater consideration to our south Snohomish county area. We have so much and if we were to work together we can solve all kinds of problem.

    What is important in this thread is the complete and thoughtful discussion of affordable housing. We can solve problems if we try. Council will consider a new approach to the issue and that new approach was created by Dave T and Neil T on the council. They know how to work for the best interest of all. Let’s support their approach to a relook at the affordable housing issue. Feel free to “steal” any good idea and build on it. I certainly will not call you stupid or some form of criminal.

  24. Point well taken about Woodway Darrol. Woodway is not likely going to be a player in solving South County housing issues or helping Edmonds with housing issues. Great news today about an actual contest for Mayor. I’d love to see one of the ladies run too. They were both so impressive at the last 3 practices in my opinion. I’m very optimistic now for Edmonds in general. MEN is a good thing and political competition is a good thing. Fresh non ideological driven Ideas are a good thing too.

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