Letters to the Editor - April 18, 2011

  • Written by Readers

Subdivision in the Wedge

Re: File No. SEP 10036

The City of Woodinville is considering an application to subdivide a .87 acre residential lot in the Woodinville "Wedge" (18621 136th Ave NE) into FOUR single-family dwellings. Many are opposed to this, as am I, for the following reasons:

• Safety: The blind corner at 134th NE and NE 186th has been the scene of many angled head-on collisions. I have personally seen the aftermath of four such collisions since 1994. Twice daily we have a large volume of speeding cars on 134th NE (despite the 25 MPH speed limit), a major route to/from Woodinville High School, operated by inexperienced and sometimes impulsive drivers. This is also the main route out of the Woodinville Wedge for the proposed development whose entrance will be very close to that corner, and will contribute to the volume of traffic and the risk of more collisions.

• Dust, noise, inconvenience, and traffic delays: The laying down of infrastructure, grading, paving, and building of the project will take many months and will be disturbing to neighbors. The sewer will have to be extended from 134th Place NE and NE 186th and around that narrow, blind corner. There will be inevitable road closures to complete that work, forcing traffic onto quiet and winding NE 190th. When the sewer was extended to 134th Place NE from 132nd NE in the ’90s, we endured weeks of torn up roads, poorly parked construction equipment, mud, noise, dust, and detours.

• More traffic delays: On some mornings, southbound 132nd NE is backed up to north of NE 186th with cars lined up to access SR 202 and SR 522. Rampant residential development, particularly in south Snohomish County, has led to the backups because, while development has been permitted, the road network has not been expanded, nor have lanes been added to existing roads. My office near downtown Woodinville is 1.2 miles from my home in the "Wedge". In 1990, the trip took about 2 minutes. It now takes 10 minutes, but sometimes as long as 20 minutes! Do we really need to add to the daily trips and commute times by adding so many households in such a small space?

• Livability: My neighbors on the NE 188th cul-de-sac, and others surrounding the subject plat, currently enjoy relative peace in their backyards and privacy in their homes because the adjacent Baumgartner property consists of a rambler with a large backyard. That will come to an end with the proposed subdivision. Depending on the layout of the new neighborhood, my neighbors’ backyards will abut two to four intense-use postage-stamp-sized backyards, and the second-story windows of those new homes will be peering into their bathrooms and bedrooms.

• Property values: Given the space available, these will be small homes with small yards, and limited value in the housing market that will inevitably become "comps." The densely-packed neighborhood will contribute to the feeling of an urban setting rather than the spacious, wooded "Country Living" that attracted so many of us to this area. Value of homes around the subdivision will diminish due to the loss of this openness, and privacy as described above.

Let’s not change Woodinville’s slogan from "Country Living, City-Style" to "Cramped Living & Traffic Jams, City-Style." Please preserve the open and rural flavor and quality of life in Woodinville.

Rick Louis LaMarche, Woodinville


Who should we thank?

On March 26th we again celebrated "Community" in Woodinville with the All Fools Day Parade and Celebrate Woodinville activities.

While some of our usual components were missing, several members of our community worked out last-minute details and pulled it off.

Who do we thank? Toren and Andrea Heald coordinated the parade on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce.

Woodinville firefighters brought their best spatulas forward and cooked a fine breakfast for us.

Earl St Clair from the Woodinville Farmers Market gathered food and craft vendors for the Arts and Crafts Fair.

Patty Green reached out to local Basset hound owners to have them march in the parade.

And Catherine Howard made sure we had a mini-family fun fair and guided a group of volunteers from three Woodinville churches: Community United Methodist, New Life Christian Fellowship and Iglesia Roca Fuerte.

There were many others volunteers plus police, fire and city employees who made this day complete.

Thanks to all of you who made this a fun day for all who attended.

Michael Charlton, Woodinville


April is National Grange Month

Granges throughout all 50 states are remembering and appreciating all the accomplishments of granges, including free postal delivery in the late 1880s and the anti-Sherman Trust Act that contested the illegal trade trusts some large corporations were trying to enact.

Grange is basically an organization of interest to the agricultural and animal husbandry, i.e. fruit, vegetable and grain production, plus dairy and beef and pig farms.

Our state has a very successful legislative committee that keeps tabs on all issues that might affect the farmers.

Sammamish Valley Grange helped the Sammamish Valley Alliance get organized in this area of the Sammamish Valley. They also sponsor the 4-H Club, and free camp trips for children 9 to 14 in August.

They also support the Little Bit Riding Therapy for physically handicapped people, the Sleeping Bag for Homeless program, now in their 12th year. They also provide dictionaries for school children and let their hall be used for public issues, club meetings, exercise classes and other activities. Visitors are always welcome at the grange which holds meetings the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7:30 p.m.

Helen McMahon, Woodinville

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