Snohomish group wants say in development plans

SNOHOMISH — A group that came together to fight “apodments” plans to stick around.

Your Snohomish aims to protect the quality of life and small town character of Snohomish. The group wants a way to funnel their opinions on development to the City Council. They launched a website on Friday called yoursnohomish.org.

“In this town, people talk to each other over fences,” said Beth Jarvis, one of the organizers. “We sit on our porches. We want to maintain that. We don’t want Snohomish to be city-fied, for lack of a better word.”

The group was formed by neighbors when Coho Real Estate of Seattle suggested building “apodments” in a vacant building at 402 Ave. E near Snohomish High School. Similar to some college dormatories, “apodments” consist of several smaller apartments in a larger building, with shared rooms such as kitchens and laundry areas.

The Snohomish City Council unanimously rejected that project in April.

The residents in that fight are worried that another high density development could still come knocking. And they’re concerned about other developments that could increase density and diminish the small-town feel of the community.

“We kind of kept in touch with each other,” said Karen DeYoung, another organizer. “We see each other socially, wallking through the neighborhood. This came up again that we discovered that the project on Avenue E wasn’t really going away.”

Jarvis said the group is not opposed to all developments. They just want a more reasoned approach to growth — and they want their group to have a voice in those decisions.

One of the first issues that they’ll tackle is a possible change to the city’s sign code, scheduled for discussion at the Planning Commission meeting this week.

“Snohomish has a certain ambience, a certain characteristic,” Jarvis said. “We’re not like Lynnwood. We don’t want to see all of that.”

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