Letter to the editor: Majority of Edmonds residents won’t like housing commission recommendations

Editor:

Citizens of Edmonds, this letter asks you to speak up against the Edmond’s Citizens Housing Commission (CHC) proposed policies:  citizenshousingcommission.org/final-policy-recommendations that will be presented to the mayor and city council on March 16. Their proposal states it is based on citizen input; however, the feedback from the housing commission survey showed strong opposition to many of their policy changes i.e., 78% of residents surveyed were against any changes to single family zoning.

We know growth is inevitable. It is how you strategically manage growth that matters, to protect the beauty and charm of Edmonds. Do you want single family parcels to vanish and be taken over by multiplexes? The commission wants these new multi-family zoning codes to be the same throughout all of Edmonds, not by district or neighborhoods.

The commission states we are lacking “middle housing” but their re-zoning efforts would actually decrease middle housing single family residences. With very few empty parcels left, developers would be required to purchase single-family one house parcels. They would demolish less expensive houses and replace them with more expensive housing units that will increase density in every neighborhood.   Developers will look to buy smaller and less expensive houses to redevelop into multi-unit housing which will actually create less affordable homes. How? They are not required to price their units or smaller homes at an “affordable price.” This is already happening where smaller, less expensive homes on a single parcel are being purchased and the developer builds 4 townhomes and prices them each at a higher price than what they paid for the single house.

The result of this policy change will be increased traffic, increased sales tax making Edmonds the highest in the state, more vehicles parked on the streets, more noise, more pollution, less trees, open spaces and vegetation, more storm water issues, and a city that will resemble Seattle, Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace. It will promote increased density and the elimination of single-family neighborhoods in Edmonds in the name of “affordable” or “missing middle” housing. This proposed policy change will not  resolve the issue of affordability, and will actually create more costly housing.  Additionally, by  removing the protection for single family housing, it will open the door for more policy changes in the name of “affordability,” and “missing middle” housing that will further erode our Edmonds community.

On behalf of the many residents who are against many of these zoning policies, we urge you to please speak up with emails, calls or letters to the City Council and Mayor Nelson: council@edmondswa.gov AND includepubliccomment@edmondswa.gov on same email before the March 16th Edmonds City Council meeting. Ask them to slow down this process, be more transparent and seek true citizen feedback through online town halls before making any decisions on the most important issue facing Edmonds today.

Kim Bayer-Augustavo
Ed Augustavo
Edmonds

  1. Well said. Also, infrastructure questions must be clearly addressed. City services don’t appear out of nowhere as demand increases. Adequate utilities will need to be provided. The citizens of Edmonds need to start paying attention to the campaign contributions from developers. This has been a long time, and many dollars, coming.

    1. Another issue is the Edmonds School District is going to propose another levy to cover upgrades and or rebuilding some of the older schools, you can’t keep adding SFR density without the infastructer to support it and we do not currently have that, why doesn’t the city look at their failed center for the arts building that has not been able to pay for itself since it was converted, build affordable housing there, close to everything needed. Yes it’s a ok place to listen to music or see a play but again it has never been able to cover it’s own expenses if you look at the P&L today it may be a couple hundred thousand in arrears. And that’s before Covid , Don’t force those of us that bought here because of what Edmonds is, to accept the thought this is for the betterment of the city! It’s for Tax dollars only, if you really want the city to grow into its potential look no farther then the waterfront,

  2. Is there anything that can be done when 78% of citizens in a town don’t want changes such as the zoning changes etc. Majority should have some power I would think. I suppose a Demonstration could be organized and then zoomed all over the country…Any ideas anyone.
    So should we tell our friends and new citizens that we really just want Tax Money not them.
    I hear no mention of this planned 241 unit apartment complex I think, on 99 right on the Edmonds side. That’s a lot of tax Edmonds…Someone do something quickly. JUST SAY NO. nice if it worked right…we ladies know..how do you gentlemen large part I’m sure of 78% who do not want this zoning messed with. Don’t want single family yards split in two. Or 4. Or whatever..we must stand up.

  3. Strongly opposed to rezoning…..iI is the beginning of the end of Edmonds that we know. We are already seeing small homes being pulled down around town and 3 & 4 mega mansions with zero lots being squeezed in.
    Contractors are out to make a profit that’s their business. It is not as profitable for them to build affordable & low income properties when it’s so so easy to squeeze in these ugly million dollar properties and make a huge profit. Changing the zoning also opens up further changes to the zoning for gigantic condo complexes like we see popping up in other towns.
    Obviously with rezoning the population in the schools will grow, taxes will increase traffic congestion pollution
    parking ect. Will all have an impact on the town.
    Rezoning is not going to solve any problems but destroy what we have here in Edmonds.

  4. Thank you for writing this letter. The housing commission made it clear that they were not interested in listening to public input, that did not fit their agenda.

    It really is up to the citizens of Edmonds to advocate for our city. Without letters like this and emails to the council, the citizens will just get railroaded by outside interests.

  5. I’ve made one pretty uninformed comment on this board, but have also tracked economic/financial theory for 30 years now. Point is, I feel comprehension average at least regarding issue, yet I have no idea, after reading twice at least, what real point or argument was. Could be on me…. is there way to simplify? Maybe link to policy details would be helpful for people to evaluate?

  6. Just always feel very rare when can read something and not remotely paraphrase …. maybe that’s credit, but where is “global” perspective or anything convincing? Just confine viewpoint to Edmonds city limits? Appreciate the 78% stat included, but again, what percent was consulted involved with such rough poll? Maybe one in a thousand residents me thinks.

  7. Just received an e-mail from Diane Buckshnis (council member) who agrees that there shouldn’t be re-zoning. As there are only a few more days before the council takes up the matter, Kim Bayer-Augustavo and Ed Agustavo’s Letter to the Editor, March 9, 2021, should be re-posted so more people might contact the council members.

  8. I read about the new recommendations being put forth to rezone areas in Edmonds to allow for more affordable housing. As a long time Edmonds resident and home owner, I support the goals of the commission to allow modern, higher density affordable housing to be created in Edmonds. There always seems to be a “Not in my neighborhood” attitude amongst a vocal minority of our residents regarding any new development, but I believe we need to provide more housing options, especially for our lower income residents.

    I provide very affordable rental housing in Edmonds and would like to expand that and offer more affordable housing in Edmonds.

    I would be willing to provide more information or testify, if that is needed to support the new proposals.

  9. There is an extreme surplus of housing. There are more “bedrooms-per-capita” now than there ever has been. Houses are an investment vehicle more than a place to live. Building more will not create places for people to live, and will only exacerbate the mal-investment.

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