Letter to the editor: Now’s not the time to consider Landmark 99 property

To the Edmonds City Council,

I would like to echo the sentiments of the citizens who spoke in opposition to the city’s involvement in the Landmark Project.

For the city to consider speculative property development during a period of deficit spending could prove further lack of stewardship of taxpayers’ funds.

Our city is not in the best shape – our roads need repairs, the municipal park is over budget and the water treatment plant needs attention.  These are just a few reasons why the city should leave the business of developing to those who are in that business.

If the members of the council want to become developers, I encourage them to do it as private citizens and stick to the business of managing our local government when using the taxpayer’s money.


Jeff Scherrer

  1. This may be naive but why do we, Edmonds, always need to grow? What is wrong with being a small but well maintained little village? Is it to broaden the tax base? To bring more money into Edmonds? Why? I have to say it really angers me to get increased tax bills while the City is spending money like it is “free”. Stop! Edmonds does NOT need to get bigger.

    1. nancy, A regional planning process allocates the forecasted population growth to the cities, and the unincorporated county area. Edmonds needs to plan for 30% growth between now and 2040. (Lynwood and Mountlake Terrace are planning for even higher growth rates).

  2. Excellent Jeff.
    Your eloquent and very specific letter is an encouragement to all like minded Edmonds citizens.
    Thank you !!

  3. I agree with Dennis…a very specific and well-written letter. Many of us feel this way. Thank you Jeff.

  4. Well said Jeff.

    Thank you for taking the time to concisely address the issue of the proposed highway 99 development project.

  5. Right on, Jeff! This property can be purchased and developed by commercial developers! It could be a nice site for the City of Edmonds to lease a place for an Edmonds Police Precinct! Certainly, this money could be used for needed infrastructure repairs such as needed sidewalks, etc.

  6. Edmonds is not just the “little Edmonds bowl”, it is everything between the Edmonds waterfront & 99 and even a little East of 99 and north to Olympic view drive. Stop the negativity and let the city explore the option of being inclusive to all those who live within our Edmonds boundaries. Possibly including a community pool, relocating city government, a park, etc. Our property taxes will go up regardless but the city will have a larger tax basis thus more revenue. Edmonds will grow we, as a community, need to decide how.

    1. Ms. Bodal’s perception of the northern edge of Edmonds is short by a good mile or two, given I am unclear how she is defining “north to Olympic View Drive”. Edmonds extends well north of Meadowdale Playfields. It is not just the Hwy 99 corridor that is unrecognized as part of Edmonds. The Landmark property purchase would certainly not address any needs for services that the northern portion of Edmonds would have while it would benefit many Shoreline families. Just another reason for a private developer to develop this property and not any one city.

  7. Jeff Scherrer’s letter is spot on and exactly right. I, and the majority of Edmonds residents agree.

  8. Last week during our City Council meeting, Council Member Susan Paine stated that her public communications were about 50-50 in favor of this Landmark purchase. Diane Buckshnis stated that her public communications were about 90-10 against this Landmark purchase.

    Apparently these two Council Persons are hearing from entirely different segments of our total population. So, for Susan Paine to be credible with her assertion, we have to assume those in favor of the purchase are the quiet types who hate to speak out while those opposed are people who like to speak out and be heard. Susan Paine’s claim about this is not credible, based on public comments to date.

    This is something to remember when you vote in November. We have a choice and an alternative for Ms. Paine’s Council Position. Credibility is an important thing for a Council Person to have at all times.

    1. On Susan Paine’s Facebook page last week, she urged her friends to write the City Council supporting the position of spending the $250,000. Now, of course this is her perfect right to promote the mayor’s and her position, although it is not a fair sampling of the community at large. You’re right Paine is not credible based on public comments to date.

  9. I agree with Mr. Scherrer’s thoughts – Lets the Commerical Market develop the Landmark Property.
    Count me in as part of CM Buckshnis’ 90%!
    Edmonds is not prepared to manage a $ 100m project!!

  10. Well said, Jeff! I’m in Diane’s 90% , too.

    The city should not enter the property development business. Please spend tax $$$ to clean up crime on Highway 99, build sidewalks, etc. Private developers will add to the tax base instead of spending tax dollars.

  11. Council members voting to continue the Landmark deal abandoned all fiscal responsibility which is a primary duty of the council, regardless of citizens being in the corridor or the bowl. Council member Nand stated Edmonds was established by old white guys and we needed to give others opportunity. Council member Paine abandoned the current budget short falls in priority of a fifty to one hundred year vision when we’re deceased. Council member Chen confirmed the risk with city attorney Taraday then voted for the risk. Not sure what Council member Tibbett was emphasizing but he voted against fiscal responsibility. An issue that’s been brought up repeatedly is lack of access to the bowl of Edmonds. What’s neglected are near by opportunities in Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood or the prospect of improving public transportation. The ‘proposed’ Landmark development is cool, but risking all priorities already established for speculative dreams that would still only serve a portion of the South Edmonds community if successfully accomplished is foolhardy.

  12. Gerry, my sentiments exactly! Let’s look at the history of Aurora Avenue(Highway 99)!
    Besides being the first North-South corridor through King and Snohomish County, it became the home of businesses that would never exist in a mall! Auto dealers, drive through businesses like banks and food establishments! It was a diverse corridor for mostly blue collar workers! Zoning laws restricted most of these businesses from being any other place, including shopping malls. When Shoreline decided to improve the Aurora Corridor it became quite unfriendly to many long-standing businesses! They made the statement that they wanted medical, dental and other upscale businesses, not auto repair shops! In addition, they said if a business would fail because of the improvements they wanted, another business would take their place! So, at the end of the day, let’s not do this project! City officials should never have anything to do with HWY 99. In case you’re wondering, I lost my business on Aurora in Shoreline! When my wife and I asked.,”what can we do?
    They just laughed! Yes, I am bitter! Myron G. Phillips, DVM

  13. Gerry and Myron, Excellent comments, all of which I concur on. Our City Council Members, with a few very notable independent thinking exceptions, tend to say one thing but vote for another. They also tend to be led in their voting to support whatever latest “great idea” is being promoted by a Mayor and Staff for making Edmonds an even greater version of itself.

    As long as TOO strong Mayors have the ultimate control over all City Council meetings, especially with the power to affirm or deny Points of Order, nothing here is likely to change. This is a systemic problem that is supported by current Municipal Law at the state level for our class of city and chosen form of government. It’s just how things are done, unfortunately. A part-time and low paid Council exacerbates the problem.

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