Letter to the editor: Prioritize looking at how development will impact neighborhoods

An open letter to the Edmonds mayor, city council and staff:
I want to thank you all for your work on behalf of all of us who care about Edmonds and from me, who will feel the impact of this development for my lifetime.
We all know that there needs to be change and that the city needs the increased revenue that development will bring. I hope that we can all come together to achieve this in a way that will benefit all of us. We are all in this together with a common goal — to make Edmonds thrive and be a visually attractive place to live and visit.
I invite you all to look at all developments and the changes that come, with your mind’s eye, and visualize not only what each development will look like, as a part of a whole, in the landscape that it will be in, but also how it will impact the neighborhood — not just at the front and to each side of the development, but at the back of the building as well. These developments are not just a drawing on a piece of paper. They are a permanent part of our city — good or bad. The scale of these buildings should complement the surrounding buildings.
BD zones allow zero lot lines at the back and this can have a devastating effect on residential neighborhoods.  In my case, because 605 and 611 Main slope down from Main Street to the alley, the 30-foot elevation on Main Street becomes a 40-foot tall, straight-up flat wall 23 1/2 feet from many of my windows and I’ll be able to see it from everywhere in my condo except the kitchen. It also blocks the view of many of the other condos up the alley toward 7th as well and will make it very difficult, and sometimes unsafe, to get out of our garages and parking places.
Some developers care about and are proud of their buildings. Some developers only care about making as much money as possible and don’t care about design or the impact it will have. Residents, on the other hand, choose to purchase and live here because they love the city, their homes, their surroundings and their life here.
The city souncil answers to the residents that elect them, not to staff and developers, and we hope that you will all stand up for and protect our interests.
I applaud the council last night for wanting to add addendums to:
  • expand the limits of the designated street front map
    • (We need businesses)
  • extend the moratorium for two months for further study
  • eliminate rooftop decks
    • (Please do not allow rooftop decks. This development is already oversized and we’d all like to avoid being kept awake at night)
  • add a provision for step-downs that follow the slope of the lot
    • (I’m hoping that this will help to reduce the scale of the building and alleviate the pervasiveness of the 40ft tall, straight up, flat wall and allow us to reclaim a little of the lost visual of our surroundings and the light that will be taken away)
Please give consideration to those of us who live here and are impacted by this development and those who will be affected by other imminent developments in BD2 spot zones, that will most likely happen before the multifamily design standard project is completed later in the year.
I know that there is a lot of divisiveness around these issues but I hope that you can all come together to pass them.
Thank you,
Lynda Fireman
Edmonds

7 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Prioritize looking at how development will impact neighborhoods”

    1. “We all know that there needs to be change and that the city needs the increased revenue that development will bring.”

      Please tell me why we need change? Tell me why we need more development? Tell my why the city needs more revenue? These things may be wants for some but they certainly aren’t needs. Now if you told me that if we allowed more development we could reduce taxes, that could be something I could get behind. As it is with record revenue our city wants to increase spending, size and scope of government which is only going to lead to higher taxes down the road. Big government is not your friend and bigger government is likely to become your enemy. Oh but I do agree this project as proposed doesn’t fit with the location.

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      1. I absolutely agree Jim! Edmonds is already densely populated and really does not NEED more people or revenue. What Edmonds does NEED are better leaders and better handling of the City budget. Taxpayer dollars are thrown around like candy at the 4th of July parade however, very little is actually spent on the other NEEDS of the City. For instance, street maintenance (the deteriorating brick and asphalt around the fountain), a parking structure in the DT area, creating more green space, etc. I am sure that list could go on and on.

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  1. At some point the architectural review board mentioned there is something called a “sun study” that could be done… do we know if this is something the city or neighbors would trigger and are the results enforceable in any way to prevent blocking off all of your access to light?

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  2. Lynda Fireman you are right on!!
    city council pay attention to what’s happening and think it out as to the impact of all residents and don’t let us lose the beauty of Edmonds as our Town.

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  3. If downtown Edmonds is a dark corridor what will the attraction be? As buildings are replaced, I hope we can maintain why people are attracted to Edmonds.
    Edmonds feels open, spacious which allows us to enjoy nature all around us. We can look up and see the gulls and eagles soaring in the sky. We have a pretty long winter in the PNW it’s nice to see the sun and nature filling up our lenses, instead of buildings.

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    1. Thank u all for logical thinking. For years Edmonds destroyed history. I own the historical house at corner of 6th and Main. The city has often been difficult to deal with. The alley cannot handle more traffic and where will these people park their second cars??? I grew up in Edmonds – many changes have been good, but I don’t even like to go downtown as I can never find a place to park. Often it is dangerous to cross the streets!!!

      Ignored

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