Don’t block the view

By Vivian Olson | May 30, 2013

Editor:

I recently missed the deadline to weigh in on File #PLN20130014 which was regarding the removal and replacement of a tree that spanned a property line dividing two lots.

Since what I wish I had said applies more broadly to the issue of trees in all of Edmond's water and mountain view areas, I am taking the opportunity to make my points here.

Most of us who were not born and raised in Edmonds chose to move here in great part because of Puget Sound.  There is just something about a water view that feeds a soul and we are SO fortunate to have the best of nature's bounty in our backyards.

Unfortunately, I have noticed real (negative) differences in several of our view corridors during my 12 years as a resident.

One of the most significantly changed is the one that I saw leaving the Seaview neighborhood (where I once lived) via 88th Ave W.  It was a "catch your breath" view, awesome and inspiring....   Sadly, today, trees between Olympic View Drive and the waterfront have all but obstructed the views of the water from these points higher.

For those who may wish to evoke "The trees are the view", I would counter that where we have the water as an asset, we need to keep it as the focal point and that we need to manage the trees so that they frame and support (rather than block).

Mill Creek has nothing but trees, and I would be the first to credit the trees for the beauty of that area- but here those same trees, where they stand blocking the views of the waterfront, are the real estate equivalent of furniture and TV's in front of the fireplace.  A shame.

As a city, and especially a city with real fiscal difficulties, keeping the views of the water is in our financial interest.

It makes our property values higher at the homes that have views from them (which in turn means more property tax revenue for the city to provide services to all) and additionally it attracts others (from the local area and from afar) who love it here and spend their money when they visit.

The sales tax revenue generated from their purchases at the restaurants, bars, coffee shops and stores they frequent also means more money in the city coffers.

Whenever opportunities come up to plant or re-plant trees, we, as a city, and all of us, as citizens of Edmonds, need to choose tree varietals that have heights when full grown that do not block the views of the water where, but for the vegetation, they would otherwise exist.

STOPPING NEW VIEW BLOCKAGE is an important first step in the bigger issue of view improvement.

 

Vivian Olson

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