Northwest NEWS

November 8, 1999

Editorial

Threatened area is adjacent to homes, families, lives

   Thank you, Dave Somers (Snohomish County Council, District 5 Representative) for your time spent at the last Maltby Neighborhood Alliance meeting in Maltby. I appreciate your taking time to listen to the issues with the Pacific Topsoil proposed rezoning in Maltby. I hope that you were able to see our neighborhood during your visit.

   I hope you were able to walk through not only the area that Pacific Topsoil wants to strip, but also down the quiet neighborhood streets that abut this wetland. I hope you saw the great trees draped in a gauze of moss. As your feet sank into this deep fertile Northwest everglade, I hope you caught a glimpse of the various wildlife, skittering away from even so friendly visitor as yourself.

   I hope you heard the sound of the children playing in the wide open spaces of our neighborhood, or the felt the soft nuzzle of one of the local horses. I hope you smelled the dampness of the cedar, fir, and wet falling maple leaves. I hope you stood out in the cold dark night, listening to the baleful owl, the plaintive coyote, and the chittering raccoon as you gazed at the spectacle of the starry heavens.

   But mostly, I hope you heard the voices of the people in the community. The people who are tired of the current horrific traffic and are terrified at the prospect of 1,200 new heavy truck trips a day on the neighborhood streets. I hope you heard that the school busses cannot get our children to school on time because of the traffic. I hope you heard that the salmon are spawning right now, today, in the streams to which the runoff from this property will contribute.

   I hope you saw the maps from local, state, and federal government sources that show conclusively that this is a critical wetland area. I hope you saw that the property in question is adjacent to our homes, our families, our lives.

   I hope you can imagine what our community will be like after these pleasant sights and sounds are replaced with mountains of rotting manure and yard-waste, the cacophony of the asphalt grinders and cement crushers, and the smoke and roar of the diesel trucks arriving and departing every 15 seconds all day long. I hope you look at the growth plans in place and recognize the reasons for the plans. I hope you saw that the current GMA has this area zoned for one home for every five acres.

   I hope that you can see that Pacific Topsoils, Inc. is a business, that they exist only to profit, that nothing will be done beyond the bare minimum to satisfy the rules. That they will seek out every loophole. That their statements are false. That they minimize the detriment and exaggerate their plans for mitigation. I hope you see that 36 acres of heavy equipment, crushing, grinding, and 250 big rigs is not light industry.

   I hope you see that we need to nourish families, neighborhoods, and our environment so much more than Pacific Topsoils' bank vaults. Finally, I hope you can help us convince the County Council to abide by the planning commission recommendation and disallow this proposed corruption of our environment in South Snohomish County.

Kevin W. Caldwell, Woodinville