When a mayor and housing strategy advocates with connections to developers, the real estate industry, and special interests are making decisions and pushing for massive redevelopment in Edmonds, there is a problem. As the real stakeholders, the citizens of Edmonds must be the ones that make the decision about what the city will look like in the future.
This is not a “backlash” as the Herald stated in its coverage (“Backlash stalls Edmonds housing strategy,” The Herald, Feb. 14), but simply citizens demanding a voice at the table to plan for growth in a way that is reasonable, organic and responsible. While the concerned citizens are passionate and vocal at times, it may be out of frustration at the cronyism in Edmonds government. The same connected and like-minded applicants are appointed and reappointed to city commissions and boards.
Edmonds’ mayor has stated that the city will need to accommodate an influx of 5,000 people. What the mayor and the housing strategy proponents have been gleefully advocating goes way beyond that. It is their desire to see Edmonds remade according to their own vision which means Edmonds will be extensively redeveloped in every neighborhood. There is a groundswell of citizens who are letting them know that this is not what the citizens want. This is not a desire to “build a moat around Edmonds,” but responsible stewardship of our community.
The predicted growth can be accommodated in the Highway 99 corridor that has been zoned for multiple family housing and where there is nearby transportation and services. That, along with the new Westgate project will meet the needs of population growth and affordable housing.