Preserving our communities through responsible and sustainable planning.

What are we working on now?

With the Supreme Court decision going against us in 2014, we changed our strategy from legal challenges to working continuously and closely with our local governments to minimize the impact of any development. That means making sure Snohomish County follows their rules and regulations to the letter, and that the City of Shoreline looks at all options for keeping some measure of control over their streets.

To keep from duplicating our efforts, board representatives from Save Richmond Beach and Richmond Beach Advocates, along with RB resident Tom McCormick and Innis Arden resident John T. John, have been meeting several times a month for more than a year to coordinate our lobbying activities with Shoreline, Snohomish County, and Woodway. We are in very active engagement with all three governments.

Snohomish County Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
Work on the EIS continues to progress slowly. The due date for the Draft EIS has continued to slip from the original estimate of the middle of 2011 to various dates in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, to the current estimate of the middle of 2016. The biggest cause of the delay is that the developer has not yet completed a traffic analysis that is acceptable to the County.

We are closely following the EIS process and have already sent the County comments on early drafts of the transportation analysis, raising issues like the need for a second access road for public safety and better circulation, assumptions on the number of transit riders coming from the site, and the need to respect Shoreline’s level of service standards for traffic flow. The EIS process is currently the most critical issue for us.

Transportation Corridor Study (TCS)
The developer and the City of Shoreline are working together on the TCS, which will document the impact of additional traffic from Pt. Wells on Shoreline’s streets, as well as identify mitigation needed to improve traffic flow so that the City’s level of service standards will continue to be met. The TCS was originally meant to be part of the EIS process, but that no longer appears to be the case. The TCS is still linked to the EIS process, though, because it’s unlikely that the TCS will be completed until after the developer and the County complete the transportation element of the EIS since many of the assumptions about the amount of traffic coming from the development will be used in both reports.

We have been very active in reviewing drafts of the TCS to make sure assumptions about what streets the additional traffic will use are reasonable, that the study does not allow traffic volumes beyond the City’s road capacity limits, and that the study also includes future traffic generated by other projects in Shoreline like the coming light rail stations. We asked for and received a commitment from City Manager Debbie Tarry to allow at least 30 days between the release of the final TCS report and any Council action so that neighborhood groups could have their own traffic experts review the results.

We also worked with the City Council to propose and pass resolution 377, which committed the Council to having a public presentation on the recommendations made by the TCS and the Mitigation Report, followed by a public vote on whether to accept the recommendations. The resolution was suggested by your neighborhood activists and was sponsored by Council Members Doris McConnell and Chris Roberts. Council Members Chris Eggen and Jesse Salomon also spoke in favor of the resolution and it was passed unanimously.

Fiscal Analysis of Annexation
Shoreline and Woodway have agreed to pay for a joint fiscal analysis of annexation. The analysis will look at both the benefits and costs of annexation in several scenarios:

  • Woodway annexes all of Point Wells
  • Shoreline annexes all of Point Wells
  • Woodway and Shoreline each annexes a portion of Point Wells
  • Neither Woodway or Shoreline annexes Point Wells.

For each of these scenarios the analysis will examine the fiscal impact at several possible levels of build out:

  • The full Urban Center at 3081 residential units
  • The Urban Village alternative at 2600 units
  • A much smaller alternative of 1500 units.

Your neighborhood activists were responsible for adding that last alternative of 1500 units because given the limited additional traffic that can fit on Shoreline streets, we think that’s closer to the number of units the County will allow on the site.

This cooperation between Shoreline and Woodway is a very good sign. For many years they had refused to talk to each other about Point Wells, but it’s always been clear to us that cooperation and a united front would be the most effective way to reduce the size of the proposed development.

We are studying the early drafts of the report and have already offered some comments on the projected timelines for construction.

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