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!