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: firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com 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.