A grassroots effort is currently underway to educate the public about the potential harmful effects of a proposed development near Silver Lake Creek. A New Path for Snohomish County hopes to hold both the Silver Lake Water and Sewer District and Snohomish County Planning & Development Services accountable, and ensure that established codes are properly followed.

A grassroots effort is currently underway to educate the public about the potential harmful effects of a proposed development near Silver Lake Creek. A New Path for Snohomish County hopes to hold both the Silver Lake Water and Sewer District and Snohomish County Planning & Development Services accountable, and ensure that established codes are properly followed.

Environment is too precious to allow developers a free pass

A New Path for Snohomish County calls on community to protect Local Watershed and WSDOT Mitigation Site from irresponsible and rampant development.

Silver Lake creek is a little-known fish bearing stream that feeds another small body of water called Ruggs Lake before eventually making its way into Lake Washington. In its natural beauty, the creek is surrounded by a small but dense urban forest that is home to wildlife and appreciative neighbors who enjoy the tranquil sounds of nature that the area provides.

The creek, which is located near Silver Lake Elementary in unincorporated Snohomish County just south of the city of Everett, passes through a State Department of Transportation mitigation site before flowing into Ruggs Lake. Both the lake and the stream play an important role in the local Watershed. The Mitigation site near Silverlake Creek serves as an upland buffer with a wetland and was designated as a mitigation site in perpetuity. According to the WSDOT website ( SR 520 – Natural Resource and Parks Mitigation (wa.gov)) “When planning transportation projects, WSDOT first seeks to avoid or minimize adverse effects to the environment. If a project has unavoidable effects, we must mitigate for them.”

Unfortunately, the creek, mitigation site, neighboring communities and the surrounding wildlife are under attack by aggressive developers who are proposing to destroy this urban forest, two fish-bearing steams and a protected habitat to build 52 densely packed three-story units without adequate parking. The excessive destruction of this development is not limited to this property. The development also plans to construct an ill-conceived 1,000 ft sewer that will invade riparian buffers, destroy a wetland containing an additional fish bearing stream, and require the demolition of a significant colonnade of trees, resulting in continued and extensive degradation of the Watershed.

There is currently a grassroots effort underway to educate the public about the potential harmful effects of this proposed development and others like it. They hope to hold both the Silver Lake Water and Sewer District and Snohomish County Planning & Development Services accountable, and ensure that established codes are properly followed. To date, this effort by A New Path for Snohomish County has been successful in bringing the issue before the public and the elected members at both the state, county, and sewer district. They have done so by publishing scientific reports and correspondence between the various governing agencies on their website to which shows the developers disregard for the concerns of the neighboring residents and other concerned citizens.

The group has also published a change.org petition with more than 6,100 signatures to date. The petition calls for established codes and protections to be equally administered for both the public and developers.

The project, originally identified as the Ambleside Development, PDS #19115780SPA was recently acquired by a new local developer which has neighbors concerned. “There is always the fear that a new developer will come in here and get expedited permits or worse yet, not wait for permits and clear cut the trees using chainsaws and other tactics to bypass permit requirements so there is no longer a potential claim of concern for the habitat,” said neighboring resident Jim Walsh. “We deserve and expect assurances from our county representatives that they won’t just let these developers have a free pass.”

There is still time to protect this environmental gem, but it will take community support and continued pressure on the Silverlake Water and Sewer District, WSDOT and PDS to make sure that the codes are followed. Otherwise, this will be just one more urban forest that is lost to rampant and irresponsible development.

To learn more about A New Path for Snohomish County and to sign the New Path Petition, Visit https://tinyurl.com/NewPathPetition.

To contact the Silverlake Water & Sewer District email service@slwsd.com or call 425-337-3647. To contact the Snohomish County PDS call 425-388-3311 and ask for PDS.

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