The Edwards Agency

Opinion

Make Woodinville's image a reality

Woodinville's image A recent letter to the editor from Karen Ward asked a very good question: "How can Woodinville allow another grocery store into an area that already has two markets..."
   I, too, question the business sense of another grocery store, but the city has no legal grounds to arbitrarily prevent any business from locating here. Not allowing a grocery store in simply because it is a grocery store would be somewhat like telling Ms. Ward and her family that they couldn't move into Woodinville because we already have a Ward family.
   How can we prevent a retailer from coming in when we cannot even legally prevent adult entertainment businesses from coming to town? The best we can do with sexually oriented businesses (SOBs) is to restrict them to a limited area, as we have done.
   What the city can do, and is doing, is to control how these new businesses like TRF look and how they impact the infrastructure. The design standards recently adopted by the Planning Commission and the City Council is the reason that TRF will not look like the traditional shopping center and instead will fit better into Woodinville.
   And yes, the traffic is going to get worse before it gets better. The millions, yes, millions of dollars that the city required TRF to pay for traffic mitigation will help, though.
   The issue we have to concentrate on is something Ms. Ward described as keeping Woodinville "quaint." When I am stuck in traffic on 175th looking at the strip malls and auto parts stores, I have trouble thinking of downtown as quaint, but I do know what she means.
   Quaint Woodinville and smalltown Woodinville exist--they exist in our attitudes and in our hearts and minds. It is up to us, the city and the citizens and the businesses, present and future, to make it a reality on the ground and to keep it a reality in our hearts.

Don Brocha, Deputy Mayor, Woodinville