The old days in Edmonds are gone forever | Kind of Day

By Brian Soergel | Mar 03, 2017

I’ve lived in Edmonds for more than 15 years and have seen some changes. My mother has lived in Edmonds for almost 30 years. She’s seen changes, and I hear about them every time we toodle around town.

“Look at all the traffic,” she’ll say. “Look at those ugly, boxy condos. And everyone drives so fast now. What’s happened to Edmonds?”

It’s not just Edmonds, mom.

I grew up in Santa Barbara when it was a funky, laid-back beach town. Now it’s home to millionaires, and the formerly seedy side of town is dubbed the Funk Zone.

When I lived in another part of California, in Rancho Cucamonga, tumbleweeds and dirt dominated Route 66. Now there’s not a speck of undeveloped land to be found.

There may be lonely patches of flyover country that haven’t changed in the last 20 to 30 years. But Edmonds is no different than anywhere else where people want to live. They move in. Prices go up. Traffic gets worse.

Checking in Facebook this week, I read through a long list of comments from Edmonds oldtimers on “You Know You’re From Edmonds When ....” reflecting on how Edmonds has changed. I’ve seen changes. My mother’s seen changes. But these people have seen even more. Here’s a sampling:

“I drove around the downtown and residential area and was so disappointed! I hardly recognized this quaint town I grew up in.”

“They are just ruining the quaintness of Edmonds.”

“And you know what? You can’t find a darn parking place now either.”

“With all those damn condos and the extremely high RE prices, only the rich will be able to afford to live there.”

“Main Street will be like Bell Square and Sunset will be 40-story condos.”

“The rulers wanted progress and they are going to tax themselves right out of existence. The theater will be gone, the quaint little shops will be gone and the train will be underground.”

“The problem is that Edmonds used to be a cute little quaint Old Timer town. Now it is turning into an expensive yuppie shopping center.”

Some city leaders say many oldtimers have trouble with progress and change. Got your own thoughts?

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Nathaniel R Brown | Mar 04, 2017 11:38

Change is inevitable, as is population growth.  So it's not so much that things are changing in Edmonds (BTW - I've lived here for 56 years), but how we steer that change.

A few years ago my church needed to look for a new rector.  Rather than discuss all the things we thought were wrong, we held three all-parish meetings to define what it was that we liked and thought we did best, how to build on those qualities.  The resulting outline was inspiring, and the new rector we chose based in the results has been wonderful.

Let's not so much complain about how much better Edmonds was "back then," as find  consensus on what we want to be, then take steps to get there.  If we steer our future, we will arrive at a place we like; if we drift, then I expect no one will be happy.

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