Preserve character, keep height limit

Why is it so important to increase the 25-foot building height limit in downtown Edmonds? Everyone agrees downtown Edmonds has a unique charm that must not be lost.

We have seen a steady progression from two stories to three and from 25 feet to 30 feet over the last several years. We are now told that developers need 33 feet because retail ceilings on the first floor downtown are too low and not attractive to retailers. What (or should we say who) created this problem? The answer is the city, by allowing increases over 25 feet in the past so two condo floors could be stacked on top of the required retail space. What additional concessions are in the future?

We are not opposed to development in downtown Edmonds. We just say keep the new projects within the current limits, which assures the character of the downtown area that already attracts thousands of visitors and residents.

The council has an opportunity to show true leadership by making a strong statement in the new comprehensive plan that the small town charm of Edmonds will not be sacrificed. Trying to address fiscal challenges by allowing taller buildings is simply wrong. The council should develop solutions – like economic development and increased tourism – that do not put the charm of the city at risk. We hope the council takes a stand and requires developers to work within the 25-foot limit.

John &Gretchen Reed


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