The right move

By Rebecca Carr | Mar 04, 2009

Everyone knows the story by now and everyone knows the players. A nice, respectable, tight-knit community of residents who built or purchased homes here based on the proximity to nature versus a powerful group with its collective eye on a bigger prize.

What some call progress, those who would feel the negative impacts increased noise, increased traffic leading to decreased safety found unacceptable.

Dont worry, soothed those living at a safe distance, It wont be that bad. Besides, this is for the greater good.

Familiar tale, right?

Only this time that potential noise pollution wasnt planes overhead; it was car wheels speeding on asphalt past one of the few pristine, undeveloped pieces of land remaining in Mukilteo.

And the city wasnt the picked-on little guy this time; it was the schoolyard bully threatening to take the little guys lunch money.

Goat Trail Park, frequently a target over the years when theres more wishes than dollars with which to fulfill them, entered the crosshairs once again when the council voted Jan. 12 to put its potential sale on the 2009 docket.

Councilmembers who voted to consider selling off the roughly 5 acres emphasized that it was only up for discussion; no decisions had been made.

However, its in the final 2009 budget as a done deal, a $600,000 line item toward purchasing the rest of Japanese Gulch.

To us, that sounds a whole lot like agreeing to build a terminal while claiming not to support commercial air traffic. It also sounds a lot like putting the almighty dollar ahead of quality of life.

Monday night, residents spoke, and the council listened, agreeing unanimously to remove the matter from the docket.

We applaud the citys desire to acquire the rest of Japanese Gulch with the goal of preserving it as open space and forever preventing development. We encourage creative means to achieve that goal.

However, we didnt want to see it at the expense of equally valuable parkland the city already owns. Its not like the amount of money involved is a deal-breaker; its only a small fraction of whats needed.

The city acquired and zoned Goat Trail Park for the sole purpose of protecting it as open space. Clearly, it saw the parks value beyond dollars and took the necessary steps to ensure it stays undeveloped.

Often, that value seems to diminish whenever a shinier toy comes along.

Kudos to the city and council for acquiring the Precht property without amputating another city treasure. Kudos for the desire to protect the remainder of Japanese Gulch as our city and surrounding area approach build-out.

Were fortunate to have intelligent, creative minds at the helm of our city and council. Were confident they can come up with a less painful way to meet their goal.

Several residents have already stepped up and said theyll do anything they can to preserve the parkland. Theyre ready to go to work theyre just waiting for some leadership from their elected representatives.

We hope this is the final time the beleaguered park goes up on the chopping block. After all, even a cat has only nine lives.

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