Save the Bowl, the Port, Antifa | Letters

Sep 16, 2017

Save the Bowl: Stop flexible height limits

Flexible height limits in the Edmonds Bowl will be a major issue in the November election. They will fly into politics under the guise of incentive zoning. Whether incentive zoning is adopted for the Bowl, as it has been for Westgate, will depend upon who is elected to City Council.

Common zoning law is specific. It sets a height limit for each zone in the code, and that’s it. If an owner wants an exception, he asks for a variance from the hearing examiner. It’s a procedure that is open, simple and understandable. Incentive zoning is none of the above – it involves complex, behind-the scenes wheeling and dealing between the mayor, staff and developers.

Incentive zoning begins with a list of desired Edmonds goals, such as affordable housing, “green” buildings, generous Marsh setbacks, etc. Points are then attached to those goals and added up to earn extra feet above the basic height limit.

Those same desirable goals could be achieved by passage of a council ordinance that simply mandates them. But developers argue that strict height limits don’t allow them to make enough profit to warrant their investment. They like flexibility.

An “economic development”-crazed mayor and council may be tempted to agree.

All the incumbent councilmembers, except one, swore at the time they ran that they would not support height increases in the Bowl. However, incentive zoning gives them cover to back out of their pledge, and there are citizen groups who support good causes who may pressure the council privately.

If you want to retain the scale of the Bowl, attend candidates meetings and speak against flexible limits (incentive zoning) and be sure your candidate does also.

Natalie Shippen
Edmonds

 

Race should not be noted in Police Beat

Regarding the Police Beat section of the August 31 edition: I noticed that on Aug. 26, two black males stole items from a pharmacy in Edmonds.

However, between Aug. 23 and Aug. 29, there were no less than six other people cited for illegal behavior, including theft, breaking and entering, and assault, as well as several minor infractions. In none of these instances – 10 in all – was the race, color, nationality or any other description provided.

Yet two males, who are black, are pointed out as having committed an infraction that was of no greater severity of several of the other incidents.

I am curious as to why the editors of the Edmonds Beacon chose to point this out. If nothing else, perhaps the color of all suspects should be noted in the future.

Patrick Kelly
Edmonds

 

Editor’s note: The Beacon traditionally publishes police reports as they are given to us, only modifying for consistency in spelling and grammar. In the future, we will not publish the race of suspects unless we are told it is pertinent to the case.

The Jantz family is helping to build a better community

Thanks for your excellent article on the Jantz family (“The Center, Red Twig and Segway: The Jantz family runs 3 high-profiled businesses in Edmonds,” Sept. 7).

Like some other Edmonds families, the Jantzes have and are continuing to build a better community through their example and their businesses. When they observe a way to make a positive impact, they act and the community benefits.

Each of the three businesses you highlighted are service businesses – services to enable individuals to learn, grow and enjoy time with friends.

I'm glad they settled here.

Bob Fuller
Edmonds

 

The Port of Edmonds has done its job at the Edmonds Marsh

There seems to be great confusion regarding the health of the Edmonds Marsh and the role the Port of Edmonds has played or should play in improving conditions in the marsh. It’s time to set the record straight.

The Port takes its environmental stewardship seriously. Here are just a few examples:

 

  • The Port spent more than $2 million cleaning up historic industrial contamination at the Harbor Square site and replacing aged stormwater conveyance systems in the process.
  • The Port has implemented a state-of-the art boat pressure wash and boatyard treatment systems that produces some of the cleanest treated discharge to the Sound in the region.
  • The Port’s water treatment system designs have been adopted by other Ports because of their effectiveness in reducing environmental impact to Puget Sound.
  • The green-certified marina has been named one of the best marinas in Puget Sound and meets or exceeds all environmental regulatory requirements at all of its facilities. Indeed, it sets an environmental standard other public ports envy.
  • The Port has also fully cooperated with and provided access to volunteer organizations that periodically remove invasive species and plant native vegetation in the marsh buffers areas.

What is the real threat to the health of the marsh? According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, it’s the contaminated runoff from Edmonds Way (SR 104), a state road, not the size of the setbacks.

Who actually owns the marsh? The city, not the Port, owns the great majority of the marsh and its shoreline.

How did the marsh get contaminated in the first place? The Port did not create the filled regions of the marsh or contamination by toxic substances. The port purchased the land from Chevron Oil and implemented the cleanup.

In fact, the marsh is in the best environmental condition it has been in over 50 years, due to reduced contamination from vehicular operations and better stormwater policies and practices.

I’m proud of the environmental leadership shown by our Port. Let’s focus on the problem we’re trying to solve, the evidence-based solutions to solving the problem and the costs and benefits of those solutions.

Then, let’s encourage the City Council to work with the state and the Port to improve the health of our marsh even more.

Maggie Fimia
Edmonds

 

Antifa indeed as bad as fascists

Re: “Antifa not as bad as fascists,” Sept. 7.

While there is no room for fascism in our country, it is important to point out that while a group may not profess to actually be fascists, their actions can easily be defined as groups committing fascist acts. Antifa by their very actions prove that they are a fascist group.

They wreak havoc upon conservative groups by showing up at their events wearing masks and disrupting them by physically threatening, throwing rocks, urinating and damaging public and private property, thus driving the conservative groups away because of fear for their own safety.

Antifa is not an organic group. They are financially backed by such leftist individuals as George Soros and other like-minded globalists. Don't be fooled into thinking that Antifa is anything other than a fascist group intent upon destroying our liberties. One only needs to watch videos on the internet to see for yourselves.

Lastly, even some Democratic leaders in Washington, D.C., are denouncing this radical group. There is a petition being circulated that ask the Department of Justice to declare Antifa a terrorist organization. I hope that effort is successful.

Bob Wilke
Edmonds

 

 

 

 

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