Letter to the Editor: Opposed to Crossroad Apartment Project

May 10, 2012

To Whom it May Concern:

I have lived in the neighborhood of 148th and 48th Avenue West in Edmonds (unincorporated Snohomish county), for more than 17 years.

I have witnessed change and growth in the neighborhood, inevitable I suppose, but sad too. I have never been so saddened, disappointed and appalled as I am with the most recent proposed project to come into my neighborhood, – The Crossroads Apartment Project.

There is a church that sits on 5+ acres at 148th and 48th Avenue W, across the street from my home.

This church has been on this property since the 40's.

Before that the property was part of a single family home.

I and many others in the neighborhood walk our dogs on this property, have taught our children to ride bikes, play football, frisbee and baseball.

The church owners have been accommodating and open to the neighborhood.

Knowing that 48th Avenue West is very busy – 35 mph – too fast for the neighborhood and no sidewalks make it very unsafe.

148th is definitely too busy to teach your child to ride a bike.

In return the neighbors have respected the many wetlands on the property and the plants and animals that dwell there.

We have watched hawks and eagle land in many of the 100+ year old trees, not to mention listened to the frogs and birds that call the property home.

A few weeks ago fences went up around the property. Most of us didn't think much of it as there were no signs, land action or otherwise.

Purely by accident less than two weeks ago a neighbor found out the property had been sold, rezoned in 2005 through the Growth Management Act to multi residential and the new owners were planning to build three, three story, 93 unit apartment complex with additional outbuildings.

Parking for 150+ cars with a potential of 300 car, so additional cars will have to park up and down 48th Avenue west, not to mention the additional traffic from that many more cars on both 148th Street and 48th which is already unsafe.

The permits were applied for April 27.

Residents living within 500 feet of the site received notices a few days later.

That has been it as far as notifications of any kind.

In 2005 when Snohomish county voted to pass the GMA and rezone this piece of property and many others in this neighborhood and others to multi residential, the only notification required was a posting in the local newspapers. Which of course not many saw. Also no land action use signs necessary because it was already rezoned in 2005.

No need to inform anyone affected by this project or allow us to speak on our behalf.

We are very concern about the separate wetland areas on the property that will be affected, and the drainage that is already a factor.

There is a steam that runs through this property.

We are concerned for the animals and plants living in these areas. What is the overall environmental impact on this whole neighborhood?

I am afraid I do not have a lot of faith in the County to order the most thorough testing of the wetlands and surrounding areas.

A thorough traffic analysis of 48th and 148th needs to be done.

They have disregarded this neighborhood and the people in it keeping this project quiet and only informing us at the last moment and the least amount of people who will be affected.

We have until May 23 to be heard.

I hope you will all voice your concerns on this project even if you don't believe it will affect you. It's happening in our neighborhood it can happen in your.

I have been part of this neighborhood and community for 17+ years, my kids attend Beverly Elementary and Meadowdale High School.

This will affect us as one of the entrances is directly across the street from our home.

My kids walk to and from the bus stop on this unsafe road, where 100+ cars will now be parking and 300+ more will be driving.

Not to mention that the environmental impact will be devastating, usually the full devastation is not realized until after trees and wetlands have been destroyed and will never be the same.

I feel the County betrayed all of us in keeping this quiet.

I hope they do the right thing and order an EIS and thorough traffic analysis.

I want to be a person of record in the Crossroad Apartment Project. I want my concerns heard!

 

Deana Barlament

 

Comments (1)
Posted by: Janet Crawford | May 15, 2012 13:36

I agree with Deana. I live across the street from her directly adjacent to the church property which was rezoned in 2005 without any of us neighbors knowing. I met with Marko Liias Saturday and he indicated the County could have done a better job informing impacted neighbors, but that the old, outdated 1990 Washington State Growth Management Act may leave it up to the interpretation of the County to prescribe the notification methods and process to its citizens.

I also want to say that former Mayor of Edmonds Gary Haakenson now Deputy Administrator of Snohomish County has not actively or adequately responded to the concerns expressed in dozens of letters and phone calls of impacted neighbors. He has not responded to our concerns about the traffic, pedestrian safety, flooding potential from the current building and site plans, devastation of active wetlands, runoff of stormwater from an already inadequate drainage system. He instead referenced in only 1 letter I've seen so far that the 2005 decisions of County Councilmembers and County Planners will stand and we can do to reverse the decisions made back then.

We aren't ask for a reversal although I believe the County was not acting fairly to make a decision to allow multi-family residential housing rezoning smack dab in the middle of a community of dozens of single family homes. Dozens of homeowners now will lose out big time by reduction in property values in an already depressed market.

What we are asking for is the County to now take every measure possible and required by Washington State, Federal and County laws to ensure our VOICES ARE HEARD and OUR RIGHTS are upheld and that we are NOT IMPACTED ANYMORE THAN WE ALREADY ARE from our lack of access to due process in 2005.

I have to tell you I want more than anything now to move to a municipality where I have more control of decisions affecting me and my family.

Oh and by the way, in case you didn't know Snohomish County residents: your planning leaders are going through the exact same process that happened in 2005. It happens every 7 years whether you like it or not and whether you know it or not. Check the tiny little ad in the public announcements section of your local newspaper before you find out the hard way like we did that the 5 acre parcel next to you was rezoned and can be sold to developers who will build dozens of apartments.

Janet Crawford



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