Letter to the editor: Political involvement by single-family homeowners necessary to protect Edmonds

Editor:

The Edmonds Citizen’s Housing Commission (CHC) recently presented its final recommendations for increasing affordable and missing middle housing in Edmonds.

One of CHC’s recommendations was to upzone all single-family residential areas in Edmonds, and permit a duplex or two townhouses to be developed on any single-family residential parcel.

That recommendation was predicated upon the theory that replacing a single-family residential unit with either a duplex or two townhouses would result in the construction of affordable missing middle housing. The underlying premise was questioned by this author in a prior letter to the editor:

Letter to the editor: Housing commission recommendations will reduce availability of affordable housing – My Edmonds News

The CHC also recommended that Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs) be permitted to be constructed on all single-family residential parcels in Edmonds.  Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit is planning terminology used to describe an additional smaller separate house constructed on a single residential parcel.  As a separate and independent housing unit, there is nothing “accessory” about a DADU, and it is another development strategy implemented to increase density in single-family residential areas.

An underlying assumption motivating this entire process is the oft-repeated hypothesis that not only does Edmonds have a responsibility to develop both affordable and missing middle housing, but its development requirement is a regional Puget Sound responsibility. Allegedly, Edmonds must contribute its fair share as a responsible regional community member to achieve that goal.

With a majority of Edmonds residential areas dedicated to single-family homes on generous-size residential parcels, at first blush one naturally assumes Edmonds must dramatically increase its population density throughout Edmonds in order to contribute its fair share to assist in resolving Puget Sound housing issues.

Upon closer inspection, one can only conclude that not only has Edmonds contributed more than its equitable share when it comes to developing housing, but Edmonds is one of the most densely populated cities not only in the Puget Sound area, but in all of Washington state.

Of the hundreds of cities in Washington State, Edmonds is surprisingly always listed near the top of cities with the highest population density per square mile.

There are numerous cities even within the Puget Sound region with population densities less than Edmonds.  They include: Woodway,  Everett,  Redmond, Kenmore, Medina, Kent, Pacific, Tacoma, Mukilteo, Renton, Puyallup,  Auburn, Woodinville,  Bainbridge Island, Maple Valley, Issaquah, Snohomish, Bellevue, Brier,  Arlington,  Sea Tac,  Monroe,  Lake Forest Park,  Stanwood,  Tukwila,  Mercer Island, Sammamish,  Carnation,  Duval,  Mill Creek, Lake Stevens, Granite Falls, Covington, Normandy Park, Bothell, Buckley, Medina, Sumner, Bonney Lake, Enumclaw, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Newcastle,  North Bend, Snoqualmie,  Clyde Hill, Milton, Hunts Point, Yarrow Point, Beaux Arts Village, Fife and Federal Way.

There are also numerous “census designated areas” in the Puget Sound area with significantly less population densities than Edmonds. A few examples are: Clearview, Cathcart, Maltby, Martha Lake, Silver Firs,  Kingston, Vashon Island, Union Hill/Novelty Hill, and Cottage Lake.

Edmonds has already achieved significant population density compared to many Puget Sound cities, let alone most cities in Washington state. Furthermore, Edmonds is dramatically increasing its population density through expanded residential development in the recently created Highway 99 Subarea rezone. This accelerated development is currently transpiring without the added requirement to upzone any single-family residential areas in Edmonds or allow the construction of DADUs. A recent My Edmonds News article revealed the developmental progress that Edmonds is achieving within current zoning guidelines:

Council starts conversation about housing recommendations; receives update on development projects – My Edmonds News

As demonstrated in the above-referenced article, there were 64 new residential units in the planning or development stage that appear to be outside of the Highway 99 Subarea, and 635 new residential units in the planning or development stage that appear to be within the Highway 99 Subarea. That is a total of at least 699 residential units currently under construction or in some phase of development that were referenced by the article.

( “An application was submitted for the GRE Apartments, located at 23400 Highway 99. The proposal is for 192 new residential units”. ^pbminut.doc (iqm2.com ).

And development will certainly accelerate as the COVID pandemic is resolved, and there is a return to normal economic development. That accelerated level of development demonstrates that Edmonds has instituted measures to significantly increase the supply of residential units within Edmonds. That development is currently transpiring without the necessity of eliminating single family zoning protections.

Studies prepared by or for the City of Edmonds reveal the recent significant increase of residential development activity in Edmonds as compared to past construction ventures.

The number of Edmonds residential units grew exponentially in earlier years, primarily as a result of Edmonds annexing surrounding communities.

The following information was provided within an informational packet of documents prepared by the City of Edmonds for the Citizens Housing Commission members which explained:

“Key Data – Large growth of housing units between 1980 and 2000 is largely explained by annexations in south and southwest Edmonds that occurred during this time”.

Edmonds Citizen Housing Commission website  Resources/Presentations/

CHC Meeting, Oct. 10, 2019 — Review of Comp Plan Housing Element

The City Of Edmonds Comprehensive Plan provides the following statistics gleaned from that study for the following ten years:

Total housing units in Edmonds – year 2000

Single Family Housing Units                        11391
Multi Family Housing Units                            6038
Mobile Homes                                                   90
Total Number of Housing Units                   17519

Total housing units in Edmonds – year 2010

Single Family Housing                                11685
Multi Family Housing Units                           6664
Mobile Homes                                                   29
Total Number of Housing Units                   18378

The City Of Edmonds Comprehensive Plan Adopted Nov. 17, 2020
Page 14

CP_2020_adopted.pdf (edmondswa.gov)

By the year 2000, Edmonds was both “built out” and was no longer annexing adjacent communities.

In the 10 years between 2000 and 2010, there were 859 residential units added to the Edmonds housing inventory. Over that 10-year period before the Highway 99 Subarea rezone was implemented, there was a net additional average gain of approximately 86 new residential units per year.

During that time frame, a majority of those 859 residential units were multi-family units.

Currently there are more than 700 residential units in some phase of development when other projects not included in the My Edmonds News article are accounted for. One can easily observe that in the year 2021 there will be almost as many new residential units slated to be added to the Edmonds housing supply within a short period of time as were added in the ten years between 2000 and 2010.  And it is anticipated that even more residential projects will be proposed and developed over the next few years.   Edmonds is a city that is exponentially developing and increasing its housing inventory, and is a city that does not need to transform single family residential areas through upzoning to continue to achieve significant residential development.

Far from being a city of only single-family residential units, multi-family housing units in Edmonds currently comprise 36.3% of all residential units. With the anticipated expansion of development in the Highway 99 Subarea, as well as future anticipated multi-family development in locations such as Westgate and Five Corners, expect the percentage of multi-family residential units to increase to 40% and more. Obviously Edmonds is much more than a city of single-family residential areas.

Or to quote another study that succinctly summed up the type of residential construction Edmonds has experienced in the past 20 years:

“As shown in Figure 2.4, newly permitted units in Edmonds since 2001 have primarily consisted of multifamily units”.  (Emphasis added)

Housing Profile City of Edmonds Prepared for the City of Edmonds by the Alliance for Housing Affordability   May 2015      Page 16

That the City of Edmonds is achieving its required housing objectives has been documented to the CHC by the City itself.

“Performance Measure 1: Report the number of residential units permitted each year with a goal of reaching 21,168 units by 2035, or approximately 112 additional dwelling units per year.”

(Emphasis added).

Edmonds Citizen Housing Commission website  Resources/ Presentations/

CHC Meeting, October 10, 2019 — Planning Overview | Review of Comp Plan Housing Element

Furthermore, the City of Edmonds Comprehensive Plan states:

“With these adjustments, the City estimates a total capacity of 3,039 additional housing units by the year 2035. The projected housing need to accommodate the targeted population growth is 2,790 housing units as determined by the Countywide Planning Policies. This represents an increase of 15 percent from the estimate of 18,396 housing units in 2011.The land capacity analysis, combined with the goals and policies in the Comprehensive Plan, indicate that the 2035 targets for population and Land Use 42 employment can be accommodated by the City.” (Emphasis added)

The City Of Edmonds Comprehensive Plan Adopted November 17, 2020
Pages 41 -42.

CP_2020_adopted.pdf (edmondswa.gov)

Although the area is experiencing a major pandemic, which has reduced significant residential development, currently there are more than 700 residential units in the Edmonds development pipeline. That current development alone would satisfy Edmonds residential growth objectives for the next six years, and that number doesn’t include other ongoing residential projects in Edmonds or new developments that will be forthcoming. Furthermore, that level of residential development is more intensive than in recent years as demonstrated by past development statistics. And with the further development of the Highway 99 Subarea, as well as other residential projects slated for Edmonds, there will be no difficulty for Edmonds to easily achieve its desired 2035 residential development target in but a few short years. The four development ventures in the Highway 99 Subarea alone will account for over five years of desired Edmonds residential growth. And be assured, if the demand for housing continues, there will be significant increased residential development in that area, which will significantly increase population density in Edmonds.

There is no imperative to eliminate single family residential zoning in Edmonds. Edmonds is already one of the most densely populated cities in both the Puget Sound area as well as Washington State. If there is an overwhelming exigency for increased housing opportunities, and this issue is a Puget Sound regional concern,  let those cities with less density develop their residential resources so they can achieve population density parity with Edmonds. There is currently accelerated extensive residential development in Edmonds, and Edmonds will continue to provide new residential units and increase its own population density without requiring the upzoning of any single-family residential areas. Development in Edmonds will only intensify when the pandemic terminates in a city that already has more population density than many cities in Puget Sound, as well as Washington State.

There is no demonstrable justification to eliminate single-family zoning and allow construction of duplexes and townhouses in single family residential areas. It has been demonstrated that developing two townhouses or a duplex in Edmonds single family residential areas will not achieve the stated goal of providing the elusive missing middle affordable housing. Eliminating single-family zoning will only increase density for density’s sake within those residential areas, as well as in all of Edmonds.

There is a growing movement in certain jurisdictions that not only oppose single-family residential zoning, but desire to eliminate it completely. That movement has begun to gain momentum, and a few jurisdictions have either eliminated single-family residential zoning, or are contemplating doing just that.

Single-family residential owners who have demonstrated an overwhelming opposition to upzoning and eliminating single-family residential zoning, historically have not had any official organizational representation in most jurisdictions. As a result, there have been a number of grassroots organizations that have been established to oppose legislation to eliminate single-family zoning in jurisdictions throughout the United States. But in Edmonds, as in most jurisdictions, it is crucial that single-family homeowners safeguard single-family residential zoning themselves through direct political involvement. You only have yourselves to protect what is probably your largest investment, and the way of life you specifically selected and hold dear.

If Edmonds single-family residential owners don’t participate in this process, there is a reasonable possibility that single-family housing zoning with its protections for single-family residential areas will be eliminated by the Edmonds City Council. After all, that is what the citizens’ housing  commission has recommended. The end result will be that Edmonds will contain one of the densest residential populations of any city in both the Puget Sound area, as well as Washington state. The small-town environment that makes Edmonds so appealing will have disappeared forever. It is up to the single-family residential homeowners of Edmonds to ensure that does not happen.

Eric Soll
Edmonds

  1. No, stripping the lots in Edmonds bare of vegetation and filling the lots up with monster houses will not help anyone afford a house, certainly not the middle class. These houses are pushing costs up as they are selling well over $500,000 and closer to $1 million. All that is happening is that Edmonds is very rapidly losing it’s tree cover. We are not and do not want to be Seattle.

  2. It’s funny how people in different areas view things. In Arizona DADU’s are all the rage and known as Casitas’ (little houses) which are often used as guest houses or rented out to seasonal residents on a monthly or weekly basis as a true “cottage” industry.

    In some Edmond’s areas such buildings are viewed as some sort of threat to our way of life and the “Ballardization” or “Seattlezation” of our town. It seems to me that the permitting of DADU’s should be based on the physical space availability of any given building lot and the impact that the unit would have on parking and sanitation issues in the neighborhood; but not on someone else’s possible property values. A certain element here really does seem to want Edmonds to become a sort of gated community with HOA type rules and regulations. Too many people in Edmonds are too anxious to tell other people how to live and what to do with their private property and too quick to demand City government intervention in what should be private matters.

    1. My new business: selling tiny home kits, soon to be known as Edmondsitas, Lynnwooditas, Brieritas, etc. Pre order yours asap!

  3. Great information Eric. Thank you doing the research and sharing.

    Tearing down a single family home and building a duplex, townhome etc. does not provide low income or missing middle housing. In Edmonds those individual townhomes would sell for over $800,000 each. This is a misnomer and a fabrication to convince you to support this.

    Also, the author is right, Edmonds has one of the highest densities than any other Puget Sound area. More density brings more traffic, more crime and without proper infrastructure you get congested streets and constant road noise. Up zone the areas that are on the main transportation routes like Highway 99 and 196th, 5 Corners and maybe even the Westgate Area from Edmonds Way and 100th to Highway 99.

    In my humble opinion, DADU’s can be a good option/compromise, especially for those that have older parents that need to live close by so you can keep an eye on them and take care of them or people who may need the extra rent to help pay the rising property taxes. DADU’s should be built with current building codes and the owner of the property should occupy one of the dwellings. Meaning the owner of the property should not be allowed to rent both the main dwelling and the DADU out at the same time.

    It would be nice to know where each of the candidates running for office stand on this issue. Silence on this makes one assume they support the housing commission report unless they come out and unequivocally refute it.

      1. In the interest of transparency, I’d like to see all candidates say where they stand on each individual Housing Commission recommendation.

        1. I am willing to do that, but I will wait until Council has one more crack at processing the housing commission recommendations. Hopefully, there will be some recommendations taken off the City “to do” list. If it is true that 78% of percent those surveyed want to preserve single family areas, then Council could start by removing one or more of the recommendations that endanger single family areas.

    1. I am ok with upzoning. But NOT just in the 5 corners neighborhood. It needs to be in other areas also. That is going to cause you a big problem. You meaning the Bowl the Mayor and the council…Do you really want to say to our new and many folks coming to Edmonds that they can only live in one neighborhood. That is a total insult to them… I suggest the powers that be consider how angry this will make them. It would make me angry and to them I would think it would really show what many think….Edmonds is entitled and racist. I keep telling people this isn’t so but actions speak louder than words. If you want to dig your own grave go ahead. You will see
      I am on the side of our new families who need help. I am also totally accepting of 5 corners doing this. And helping our new neighbors feel like they are part of our neighborhood. As they will be.
      But it needs to be more residential areas for it to be Edmonds welcomes you. Not just 5 corners welcomes you. Think long and hard because it’s not going to fly…I promise you.

    2. Hi Rod, I stand firmly to protect single family zoning for Edmonds for all the reasons listed above along with the fact that 78% of our neighbors want to preserve single family zoning. Further more, I believe there are significant environmental risks by reducing pervious ground cover should there be a reduction in single family dwellings. As for the DADU’s, Edmonds currently has an ordinance that allows for home owners to construct such a dwelling if the conditions exist. They are restricted to family members needing care by or for the homeowner. Hope this helps to clarify my position as a candidate for City Council Pos 2.

      1. So Ms. Cass says she is officially in favor of turning city Codes into some sort of city wide HOA; apparently to save views; protect single family property owner’s investments and save the planet. No thanks. Just more of the same over intrusive micro management stuff we already have in spades here, if you ask me. How does not building two small houses, or one large house and one small house, save any more “previous ground cover” than building a giant house on a postage stamp lot? That’s what we have done here for years.

        The housing study divided the city into seven distinct geographical areas. Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to study each of those areas individually and figure out which zoning codes would benefit the most people in each of those areas along with what might be good for the environment in each area? The area where I live, should probably remain zoned single family but that doesn’t mean every area in town should; or that the city should somehow be involved in who wins and loses in the real estate world.

        1. Clinton,
          Excuse me if I don’t know how engaged you are with city issues – speaking at Council meetings, meeting with council members or sending emails about the housing issue – if you aren’t, I encourage you to do so.

          One of the core objectives of the Citizens Housing Commission was to have residents living in different areas/neighborhoods in the city on the commission so they could identify the housing aspects in their area by engaging in outreach with their neighbors. We don’t all live in the same neighborhoods, but we are all a part of Edmonds. .

          However, early on that focus of the commission was quickly dismissed – https://myedmondsnews.com/2020/02/letter-to-the-editor-set-the-edmonds-housing-commissioners-up-for-success/.

          Now we are left with a list of recommendations that is customized for none and with the city still closed to in-person meetings, we are left with emails and Zoom calls to weigh in with our views.

          And I’m sure the COVID shutdown for over a year now did not help with public engagement either.

      2. Janelle,

        I appreciate that you have stated your position to protect single family zoning. The Edmonds City Code addresses ADUs (accessory dwelling units) but does not currently address the building of DADUs (detached accessory dwelling units). It does address preexisting detached accessory dwelling units. Here is a link to Chapter 20.21 Accessory Dwelling Units:

        Link to code:

        https://www.codepublishing.com/WA/Edmonds/#!/html/Edmonds20/Edmonds2021.html

        20.20.030 Criteria for attached dwelling units
        20.20.050 Preexisting accessory dwelling units

        I encourage all interested citizens to familiarize themselves with Edmonds City Code 20.21 Accessory Dwelling Units, as it will likely to be looked at by Council early in the process of reviewing the CHC policy recommendations. Changes to this code, if not done with respect for citizen input and existing single family neighborhoods could profoundly negatively impact quality of life in some of our neighborhoods.

        1. Thank you Joan for the correction that the code is for ADU’s not DADU’s. My intent was to share the fact that Edmond’s currently has code language to provide options for home owners to: ” (1) make it possible for adult children to provide care and support to a parent or other relatives in need of assistance, or (2) provide increased security and companionship for homeowners, or (3) provide the opportunity for homeowners to gain the extra income necessary to help meet the rising costs of home ownership, or (4) to provide for the care of disabled persons within their own homes. [Ord. 3294 § 1, 2000].” It was an option that I personally explored while taking care of my special needs uncle.

        2. This was a great link. Thankyou. Just push it and there it was. Very helpful.

  4. How would renting out both a main home and a DADU be any business of the city beyond whether or not any parking, sanitation, construction, or criminal statutes of the town are being broken by the occupants? What business is it of the city, whether the occupants are owners or renters? You seem to want the city to function as a home owners association of some sort.

    Personally, I’m looking for City Council Persons who want to get out of the business of micro-managing what each citizen can or can’t do with his or her own property and how they should think about racism or the future of the planet. I don’t need AFM calling me a racist on regional T.V. and I don’t need L.D. always kissing the ring of the man who put him there. I don’t need a town where the Mayor and his pals pick business winners and losers and try to enforce their vision of what the town should or shouldn’t look like.

  5. The author says “It is crucial that single-family homeowners safeguard single-family residential zoning themselves through direct political involvement.” Are there any specific steps that can be taken in this case?

  6. So, 3000 more housing units by 2035. Could we wait to start until 2045? I will have died by 2045. Thank you

    1. Good article Eric, thank you for your research and I agree with you. I kinda like the DADU’s too
      for reasons other responders gave. And hahaha, Carl, I agree with you too!

  7. According to CityData.com Edmonds had about a 4% increase in population since 2010.
    Total Housing Units (10yr): 17519 -> 18378 is 4.9% increase. At 2+ people per household, there’s been a *tremendous increase* in housing verse people. There is a surplus. The housing market is beanie babies.

  8. I just love how political thinkers are all for freedom of the individual until that freedom might just poke them personally in the pocket book nerve a little or offend whatever their view of religion happens to be. Then they are the first to shout that we have to make a law against something or other. Where are the topics of property rights and individual freedom in this particular discussion so far? I seem to be the only person talking about it. Zoning laws should be about protecting the safety; rights and freedoms of everyone, not just a chosen few who have money and political power to spare. Zoning should have a purpose greater than just protecting someones property value or redlining renters out of areas of a city or the whole city.

  9. Eric, why would you want to take away my opportunity to better my financial well being? I understand your point about the city shouldn’t be solely responsible for solving housing shortages but I for one see nothing wrong with it allowing its property owners to help the cause and make a few bucks while they are at it.

  10. Mr. Soll, you have left out some of the most recent facts about the rate of construction new housing units in Edmonds. Were you cherry picking the data to present in order to deliver your message to those who were not also reading the older published reports? The Development Director’s report to the city council and the same report to the city’s volunteer planning board clearly shows that over the last 10 years we are falling short. Developers have built on average a net add of 89.4 units. Yet the target our elected officials committed to in the regional planning process is and average of 112 units per year. That means the city will have to add an average of 127 units in the remaining planning period (2021 -2035). If you assume the run rate of multi family units remained the same, then SF build rate will have to move from the current avg annual rate of 39/yr to 77/yr in order to meet the GMA target. Knowing that we have fallen short of the city’s home building commitment over the last decade, we should all be watching the planners in SW Snohomish County in the next 4-5 months as they do the forecasting math and the negotiation to divide up the number of future housing units among the local jurisdictions. The housing need will continue to increase. Will Edmonds commit to their fair share of additional housing units? Will they sit back and let Lynnwood (the big dog on the block in the SW Snohomish Cnty regional planning processes) agree to build out more than their fair share of housing? Mr Soll, you probably know that the State of Oregon recently outlawed SF zoning in mid sized and large cities, and that the St of Wash debated similar legislation and decided to defer to local jurisdictions to make the appropriate zoning changes. The relevant question is not “is Edmonds more dense that surrounding small cities?” Rather, it is “our region and others in the West are experiencing net in-migration. How do elected officials meet the demand for housing?”

  11. Mostly this is about folks feeling threatened and wanting to protect what they see as their rightful piece of the pie – entitled for whatever reason.

    I certainly feel entitled to do whatever I want with my private property within reasonable limits enforced by the city. The problem is defining what is reasonable and where do the rules begin and end. How fine do you cut the rules and why are the rules put in effect? Big can of worms since everyone wants to live in the good places, like Edmonds.

    1. Clint, I agree. But I would go one step farther. For many, their home is also an investment (for better or worse) that they are relying on for their future. Changes to zoning affect neighborhoods, not just the property that gets developed, and to whatever extent people perceive those changes as diminishing their investment, it can be a cause of huge worry and anxiety.
      I don’t know that it’s possible to address growth in a way that doesn’t cause concern on this, and other grounds. We just have to try to find some balance-point.

    2. San Francisco is the extreme example of using zoning as a weapon, protecting incumbent home owners against neighbors wanting to build. I don’t think this is can be characterized as a NIMBY, or as contradiction between wanting property rights while also not wanting growth. Clinton is making an argument against growth management in general. The building height restriction is a contract that was made by and for native people of Edmonds. There are other places to live. There is not zero-sum pie.

  12. I actually lived here at the time and my Dad and I participated in the protest against the proposed 12 story Ebbtide Condo that started the whole height limit controversy in Edmonds; so can’t agree with Matt that I’m against “growth management in general.” I’ve been around here much longer than Matt and most of the people that comment here. I was here when “the view” was mostly very large Evergreen trees unless you lived on the beach or the highest hills around town.

    The Ebbtide ended up being pretty much a compromise between extreme private wealth gain and reasonable private wealth gain along with protection of the public good. That is what I think growth management and zoning would be in a well run city. This isn’t currently a well run city. What comes out of this Mayor and Council set up, in terms of zoning, will almost certainly be an over intrusive disaster for dozens of people living here. Possibly myself included.

    1. So you were both for and against multi-family homes. You protested your property rights but lament other people’s property rights. My comments suck. It’s like throwing a coin down a well, or talking to myself on an Island with Wilson. Why would Edmonds want to build more homes and get more density when 1) this is the top of the housing market, 2) there is a surplus of housing compared to years before (as in #houses/#people)? I’m feeling pretty stupid because I keep going. I ate three quarters of a bag of chips, and can’t stop and just need help. This community. Clinton, Native Americans were here first as we are constantly told. Tell them about your beach view and protests, how you’ve been here longer than Matt. Get with Roger Pence and complain about other people being involved in caring about things. Let’s ask Native Americans how tall our buildings should be.

  13. Great comment Matt. You do not miss much, that is for sure. Many commenters do not have long memories and after making so many comments they do not realize that they have been on “both/many sides” of an issue. When they close with how many years they have lived in Edmonds, I’m not sure what that is supposed to mean. If you live here longer, you have more to say? Or you have more varied opinions? Or you have lived here so long that you forgot what you used to say? You certainly keep everyone accountable.

    1. Yes, Matt keeps things/people honest. We always enjoy his comments, and we definitely appreciate his candor and quick wit. He is a thinker who sees things from a perspective not always clouded by politics.

  14. Matt my friend, I’m not sure what your point is in attacking me. You accused me of being against growth management in general which simply isn’t true. I have room on my property for an DADU, but such a building probably wouldn’t be acceptable to most of my neighbors from the standpoint of how they view their property value and how I might choose to use it, if I did build it. Should they have the right to say I can’t build one? I don’t know, but right now they have that right and I’m fine with that. I respect my neighbors and expect them to respect me when I do what I want with my property within the legal guidelines of city code.

    I would like to see a system where the DADU issue would be debated within my geographical district’s borders (established in the housing commission charter) and the majority view prevail as to allowing them or not. I suspect DADUs would fail where I live; but might well pass some other districts of the town. One size fits all probably won’t work; but I suspect that is what we might get with this housing commission, this city administration and this current political correctness vibe. Not sure what your point is about Native Americans, but I do know we are all claiming land that was essentially easily stolen from them since they viewed owning land as roughly equal to owning air which would be absurd to virtually any ethnic group. Individual and private land ownership was a big deal to our European ancestors but a totally communal concept to Native Americans. Hope this makes my view more “accountable” to you and Martin.

    1. We all need to live somewhere. I just think all of our elders in Edmonds should will (donate) their property to the Tribes. If it’s stolen land, give it back. Let’s all start acting according to our beliefs. You might be the most prolific commenter. I bet I am in the top ten, so this goes for me too. Let’s shut up so that more of the comment section pie can be had by others.

      1. Last time I checked, none of this is required reading or writing for anyone. You attacked my comments personally and I took the bait. Should have known better. Apologies to all. Especially Teresa.

  15. Haha. Good one!. You are very knowledgeable. I enjoy your comments even when I don’t agree.

  16. Yes, Matt has a way of always making you “think”! Even if you do not agree with him, he always gives you intelligent “food for thought”. He does not attack, he puts his humor and extensive resources to work to show you perhaps why you need to see another point of view. I like to think that “He is our countries future”; a young, family man who wants the best for your family as well as his own. He has an advantage to most of us, because he has been on the front line in many situations war, politics, businessman, and can debate anyone…….and he is under 40. A smart young man in an old soul. He deserves our respect, he certainly has earned mine.

  17. For the record, I don’t disrespect anyone who comments here and would defend their right to comment no matter what I think about their comments. I do think lots of people are confused about the difference between historical facts and historical beliefs. Historical facts are like math, one correct answer. For example, we (mostly white non-indigenous American citizens) often call the Custer battle a “massacre” and the Wounded Knee massacre a “battle.” In the Custer incident both sides were armed. At Wounded Knee only one side was armed. There’s a conflict here between “belief” and fact.

    A commenter here suggested that I should give back my property to the local tribes because I “believe” that we stole it from them in the first place. The taking of traditional tribal lands is not my “belief;” it is historical fact which makes his suggestion that “elderly” people like me should give our property back because of what we “believe” a thinly disguised personal attack on me. The implication being that I’m old and “believe things that aren’t true historically. That’s o.k., I have a thick old skin and believe wholeheartedly in forgiveness.

    I try not to attack people personally in my comments. To the extent I fail in that, I sincerely apologize to anyone who is offended. I also often tell people I agree with them in their comments, which I suppose could offend people who don’t agree, but it shouldn’t. Agreement and disagreement are what these discussions are all about I think.

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