Housing, food trucks, Beverly Hills | Letters to the Editor

Apr 10, 2019

Housing Commission needs cross-section of Edmonds residents

To: Mayor Dave Earling, Edmonds, City Council, Edmonds Planning Board, Development Services Director Shane Hope:

As residents of Edmonds, we are encouraged by City Council’s current intent to create a Citizens’ Housing Commission as outlined in the agenda packet for the March 19, 2019, City Council meeting.

We request that the council makes creating this commission one of its top priorities this spring, with the goal of having it in place by early summer. Please don’t delay in establishing this commission in order to capitalize on the momentum, public interest and input that have been generated by this important citywide issue.

It is clear that many Edmonds residents are interested and willing to participate in developing housing policy options for council consideration. We would encourage the council to have this new commission in place by June.

By including more residents in the process, it is our hope that this commission will include a comprehensive cross-section of Edmonds residents, including a ratio of renters to owners that reflects the current mix in the city.

Hopefully, this will result in providing council with realistic housing policy options that will expand the supply of housing options while maintaining Edmonds’ character and quality of life.

We also encourage the council to direct the commission to consider all the infrastructure and needed services implications of any housing policy recommendations it creates in addition to being informed of current housing stock.

We are encouraged by the City’s intent to have the commission report progress to council quarterly and host regular public outreach sessions to provide updates.

In order to broaden the pool of participants in the Commission, we recommend that those
selected be residents that are not currently serving on any City boards or commissions, and have not for the last two years.

We also recommend that the council include alternates from each zone in
case those selected are not able to complete their term of service or have any prolonged absences.

Regarding the outstanding questions of whether or not to use an outside facilitator, we
recommend the council first try and recruit a local, experienced person who is committed to an unbiased process.

We also encourage the council and Mayor Earling to underwrite the postcard mailer to all households in Edmonds. The mailer should also be unbiased and encourage open, thoughtful and original responses by the great people of Edmonds.

Rebecca Anderson
Edmonds

 

Editor’s note: Also signing this letter were Bob Rinehart, Wendy Shaw, Darrol Haug, Donald Moe, Treg Camper, Terri McDevitt, Pat McDevitt, Charlene McDevitt, Erling Hesla, Maggie Fimia, Darlene Stern-Rapp, Tom Napa, Philip Lovell, Tom Mayer, John Kim, Margaret Safford, Sid Graumlich, Ron Clyborne, Diana White, Ron Wambolt, Nathan Anderson, Jim Van Tighem, Stephen Van Tighem, Jessica Van Tighem, Mary Monroe, Mike Schindler, and Pat Shields.

Some can’t afford to live in Edmonds

I couldn’t wait to get out of my hometown. Last week, I visited Santa Monica, where I was born, for the first time in over a decade. It felt like Century City had moved west to the beach.

Rapid change with taller buildings, population density and overwhelming traffic has changed the city for the worse.

We can’t go back to the small-town atmosphere that existed 27 years ago when I moved to Edmonds, but as we prepare for a new mayor and city council members, it’s a good time to look at what’s gone wrong in other cities and to put the brakes on locally by coming up with some meaningful questions.

There are many. Here’s my two-cents' worth:

  • Where do you stand on the three-story height limitation for downtown? Are you willing to stand up to business (i.e. money) interests that want to build higher?
  • Would you be in favor of re-zoning residential neighborhoods so as to prevent developers from tearing down single homes and replacing them with three? Or worse, replacing them with apartments?
  • Does Edmonds really need to be “Affordable”inasmuch as it translates into a denser city and population?

Down south, it’s accepted that “not everyone can afford to live in Beverly Hills.” There’s nothing wrong with that – it's just a fact. It was a fact when I was a kid.

Five thousand more people may want to live in Edmonds in the near future, but if we don’t build in density, people tend to live where they can afford it.

Wes Carlson
Edmonds

 

City needs food trucks by ferry terminal

It’s time to explore the idea of food trucks near the ferry terminal.

It’s easy to make the case that Edmonds is a destination city for a number of reasons, one being that is a commuting hub: Community Transit, Sounder and the ferries.

The Edmonds-Kingston ferry had the second-highest ridership in 2018, just behind the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route (4,225,624 and 6,355,278 respectively). By default, we have a captive audience twice a day for those going to and from work.

There was also a report recently in the Edmond Beacon that passengers are experiencing longer wait times due to a rotation of smaller vessels being used.

Yet local businesses haven’t been able to capitalize on the opportunity to benefit from this.

I would argue that there are a couple of businesses that may have experienced an uptick due to convenience and location: the drive-through Starbucks on Edmonds Way and Spud Fish and Chips at Salish Crossing.

There are not many fast-causal restaurants along the route from I-5 to the terminal. There are great restaurants in and around Harbor Square, but the limited time riders may have doesn’t create many viable options.

Over the past couple of years, several local food vendors with brick-and-mortar locations and/or that offer catering have expanded their services with food trucks. Having the option to have these trucks located near the ferry offers time-friendly options for commuters as well as provide opportunities to promote their larger businesses.

It also provides options for those who live in the area to partake in the selections. Other businesses in the area could also partner with the food truck vendors to have promotional materials available with a “stay longer” message for the Friday commute home.

With the closure of the Copper Pot (and the rumor that a Mexican restaurant could move in to that space), this would be a great time to pilot a food truck program, with “express” items to help prevent vehicle-loading delays.

A rotation of two to three trucks during the 4-7p.m. commute time for 60 days, perhaps? Though some permissions will need to be granted to make this happen, it is certainly an executable idea.

Alicia Crank
Edmonds

 

End the use of fracked gas project for Snohomish County

Do you know that the fossil fuel industry is trying to build massive fracked gas projects in our state? These include a massive Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in Tacoma and the world’s largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery in Kalama, right along the banks of the Columbia River.

If built, the Kalama methanol refinery would become the state’s largest climate polluter by 2025.

Fracked gas projects also include an expanded pipeline in Snohomish County, which puts at risk 15 streams and the salmon that spawn in them. Water quality for local homeowners is also likely to suffer, as most of the route runs through an EPA designated aquifer.

Ending the use of fracked gas is the next big climate fight. The process of fracking involves injecting toxic chemicals into the earth, which can leak into the groundwater and contaminate our drinking water, endangering our health.

After extraction, fracking continues to be deadly and environmentally damaging, from pipeline explosions to the greenhouse gases produced by transporting and burning it.

Fracked gas is destructive from extraction to consumption.

Gov. Jay Inslee has championed policies to limit climate pollution and promote clean energy, but he has yet to publicly oppose fracked gas infrastructure projects proposed for the state.

He needs to hear from you.

Marjie Fields
Edmonds

 

Grateful for evening of sexual assault awareness

A big “thank you” for the special evening of “Surviving Sexual Assault” for our community put on by our Edmonds Police Department (“Edmonds Police officer organizes ‘Surviving Sexual Assault’ event,” March 21).

It was an evening of education and awareness presented gently by a panel of informed and experienced advocates reaching out to help families of surviving sexual assault victims, from children to adults.

It was a very informative evening with help for us all in a concerning matter. Please come back again, Edmonds Police Department, and thank you, Officer Ashley Saunders and Westgate Chapel for hosting such a needful subject matter for our community.

Linda Danielson
Edmonds

 

 

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