November 25, 2002
Plan right for the future now, there's no going back
Thank you for the informative article on the new downtown plan last week. Although the city projects that it will take 20 years or more to fully build out the plan, I remember how quickly the downtown dramatically changed after incorporation. It only took three years for 42 semi-natural acres and a number of small businesses to be converted into the large shopping center we now have. There is nothing to prevent something similar happening again.
We've been watching our property taxes rise every year, along with getting new taxes levied on utilities and other purchases. These were levied to pay for roads and improvements needed because of the large amount of traffic and people brought in by the new shopping center. If new development doesn't pay for itself, the public gets left holding the bag. Citizens deserve a full financial analysis of all elements of the plan before the city goes ahead with it.
Change can be slow or sudden, and once the city allows high density high-rise development, market forces will take over. That's why it's so important to do this plan right the first time, because there won't be any going back.
Maria Morris, Woodinville