Letter to the editor: More protection needed for the Edmonds waterfront


The recent Edmonds Waterfront Connector issue convinced me that Edmonds waterfront, parks and open space need better protection.

In 1997, Seattle voters passed initiative 42. That initiative required that any park or open space must be replaced with equal or better land and facilities in the local area before it can be converted to other uses. The Seattle City Council then passed an ordinance unanimously to require that.

I believe Edmonds needs a similar voter initiative and ordinance.  The advantage of a citizen initiative is that it can’t be easily overturned by a future mayor or council.

I would like to pursue this and I need help. If anyone is interested in working with me on this, please contact me at the email address below. Thanks.

Bill Derry

7 Replies to “Letter to the editor: More protection needed for the Edmonds waterfront”

  1. What a fantastic idea! Thank you for researching and passing this along to readers, Bill.
    I am willing to bet this will take off and pass quickly!


  2. I love irony. The train tracks [with the noise, perceived risks, and minor inconveniences] has protected the beachfront and the Marsh since Bracket’s Landing. If there were a Connector Bridge X years ago, that whole area would be developed. The down town would be down there.


  3. I don’t think Edmonds has an initiative process. We would have to rely on council passing an ordinance in a way that a future council could not repeal it.


  4. Washington State Elections can have non-binding advisory initiatives on the ballot…Many WA municipalities use this mechanism as a way to gauge voter decisions with respect to a local issue.

    Not sure of the details…


    1. DW, sorting through election materials about non binding ballot measures seems to suggest that there is not a “initiative” process to put a ballot measure on the ballot. All references I found suggest it was a council who authorized the measure. It looks like on a state wide basis the initiative process could be used to put something on the ballot but it would be a state wide vote.

      The are other ways we have used in the past to gauge citizen input for issue. The Edmonds Strategic Action Plan would be an example. It was done in a way to create results to a number of questions that were statistically valid. The SAP has served and can still serve to help understand the desires of the public.


      1. Notes here from a former Seattleite. Seattle Initiative 42 was qualified for the ballot by getting enough voter signatures on petitions. As permitted by their city charter, the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 to adopt the initiative outright without putting it on the ballot.

        In 1985, Edmonds adopted the initiative and referendum process allowed by state law for noncharter code cities. Details can be found in City code Sec. 1.08.010.


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