Shoreline needs access, not growth

The city of Everett is joining other cities to fight a lawsuit by the National Wildlife Federation against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Thursday, “Everett in fight against lawsuit.”)

Apparently the city feels shoreline development is paramount. I already disagree with the city’s and Port of Everett’s current restrictions on citizens’ access to our shoreline. Despite miles of shoreline within the city, we have access to only a small fraction of it.

Burlington Northern’s track rights-of-way already curtail much of the public’s access to shoreline. On top of this, the Port of Everett has closed off considerably more access by arbitrarily posting much of our shoreline. A prime example is the so-called Riverside Business District, which has been a complete flop since its inception so many years ago. The port posted acres of land and restricted citizen access to the riverside in the hope of attracting nebulous business interests. Never mind that few businesses want go there.

Another example is the port’s posting more acreage on the waterfront at the north end of Marine View Drive — the excuse being the land is under study for future development. Well, it’s been several years now, so either develop the land or give it back to the citizens. At the very least take down the “No Tresspassing” signs and let us walk the area at our own risk.

I can see the same thing happening with the site Kimberly-Clark will vacate. The city wants it to remain in industrial zoning when we can’t even find an industry that wants it now. Clearly potential industrial revenue is more important to the city than a simpler lifestyle and citizen enjoyment of our resources.

Why can’t the city stop fretting over growth and just let people enjoy what little public land we have?

Bruce Fifield