Publisher’s note: The following letter was presented to the Edmonds City Council during its March 19, 2019 meeting. It was submitted to My Edmonds News for reproduction here, in case citizens did not attend or watch proceedings of that meeting.
March 15, 2018
To: Mayor Earling Edmonds, City Council, Edmonds Planning Board, Shane Hope, Development Services Department
As residents of Edmonds we are encouraged by the Council’s current intent to create a Citizens’ Housing Commission as outlined in the agenda packet for the March 19, 2019 City Council Meeting.
We request that the Council makes creating this commission one of its top priorities this spring with the goal of having it in place by early summer. Please don’t delay in establishing this commission in order to capitalize on the momentum, public interest and input that has been generated by this important citywide issue.
It is clear that many Edmonds residents are interested and willing to participate in developing housing policy options for Council consideration. We would encourage the Council to have this new commission in place by June.
By including more residents in the process, it is our hope that this commission will include a comprehensive cross section of Edmonds residents including a ratio of renters to owners which reflects the current mix in the city. Hopefully this will result in providing Council with realistic housing policy options that will expand the supply of housing options while maintaining Edmonds’ character and quality of life.
We also encourage the Council to direct the commission to consider all the infrastructure and needed services implications of any housing policy recommendations it creates in addition to being informed of current housing stock.
We are encouraged by the City’s intent to have the commission report progress to Council quarterly and host regular public outreach sessions to provide updates.
In order to broaden the pool of participants in the Commission, we recommend that those selected be residents that are not currently serving on any City boards or commissions and have not for the last two years. We also recommend that the Council include alternates from each zone in case those selected are not able to complete their term of service or have any prolonged absences.
Regarding the outstanding questions of whether or not to use an outside facilitator, we recommend the Council first try and recruit a local, experienced person who is committed to an unbiased process. We also encourage the Council and Mayor to underwrite the post card mailer to all households in Edmonds. The mailer should also be unbiased and encourage open, thoughtful and original responses by the great people of Edmonds.
Jeanne Van Tighem
Stephen Van Tighem
Jessica Van Tighem