Letter to city council from ACE
Re: Recommendation for Rejection of the Harbor Square Master Plan and Initiation of a Public Planning Process for Harbor Square Redevelopment
ACE recommends the Council finally reject the Port’s plan because it does not address any better voters’ and residents’ concerns expressed at recent hearings.
- It insufficiently considers Edmonds’ development as an arts and tourism destination,
- It lacks community support due to its top-down origin,
- It ignores the voters’ and residents’ desires for the future of the area,
- It is impractically over-scaled with regard to height and mass of residential units,
- It fails to allow for division of the property into smaller parcels for development under current codes, and
- It lacks vision.
Instead of trying to revise the inadequate draft right now, ACE recommends the City Council adopt a timetable to amend the parts of the Comprehensive Plan affecting Harbor Square.
The Council’s timetable should allow for a “bottom up” public process that permits full and fair presentation of the views of Edmonds voters and residents regarding such things as:
- arts and tourism development,
- open and community gathering space,
- protection of and access to the marsh,
- storm water management and pavement limits,
- public view impairment and respect for private view impacts,
- height limits,
- building density and mass and style and sustainable design,
- whether the addition of residential units is appropriate for Harbor Square and to what extent, and
- the relationship of any major development at Harbor Square to the rest of town, the waterfront, and to transportation options.
We attach (not included –Ed.) our 2008 report to you following ACE-sponsored open houses concerning development in the area from the marsh to Main Street.
That report showed how you can revise the comprehensive plan to encourage attractions that will continue to draw people to Edmonds to visit, explore, shop, eat, and enjoy a setting superior to rather than similar to everywhere else on Puget Sound.
We also attach (not included – Ed.) our previous letters to the Port (April 13, 2012) and to City Council (December 3, 2012).
We encourage you review these attachments. Our recommendations today are consistent with our earlier comments.
For more information go to www.allianceforedmonds.org.
The Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds (ACE)
John Reed, President of ACE