To the editor:
In 2007 when development of the Overland Trailer Court property at 152nd and Aurora was first proposed, there were 32 trees on the site (Brent Spillsbury, public testimony City Council hearing, Dec. 17, 2007). There have been several proposals for the property (SHAG, 2007; Brighton Court, 2011; now Shoreline Star. 2012) all of which involve paving the 1+ acre lot virtually lot-line-to-lot -line. No chance for these trees.
A major concern throughout the lengthy development process, evidenced by letters in Planning and Development Services (PDS) files, has been for the twelve mature pine and cedar trees on the adjacent privately-owned, residentially-zoned property.
In the August 2011, “neighborhood meeting” the then “owner” (5/27/2011 PDS pre application information for Brighton Court), Patrick Carroll, was very supportive of and attentive to neighbor concerns, including the trees. He assured us the underground garage would be set back 20 feet from the property line and that an arborist would be retained to insure preservation of the privately owned trees.
On August 21, 2012, thirteen months after the “neighborhood meeting” Mr. Carroll submitted the meeting report to support the development application of Shoreline Star.
“We stated that we would hire an Arborist to help us protect as many trees as possible. This plan will be submitted to the city for their approval,” he said.
By letter (6/17/2011 Levitan, PCD to Matt Driscoll, architect for the three proposed projects), “. . . property owners are encouraged to retain trees where feasible, especially when adjacent to single family residential zones.”
Perhaps Mr. Carroll misread “retaining trees where feasible” to include trees on his property as well as trees on all property in the vicinity of his project? In his Report, Mr. Carroll presented other neighborhood concerns inaccurately and treated them with as much indifference as he did our concern for the trees.
In five years dealing with PDS, my neighbors and I have lost confidence that it represents community interests.
Now there is a new owner (4/30/2012 e-mail Links to Eernissee), John Links, developer, and Trent Mummery, project manager (7/26/2012 e-mail Eernissee to Hall).
Who knows what they have in mind for this property - and ours? PDS declared that the August 2011 neighborhood meeting met regulatory requirements. With the exception of continued meetings with city staff, which have been for the most part unproductive and frustrating for five years, our neighborhood is at the mercy of developers.
That in July city councilman Will Hall entertained Mr. Mummery in a private box at a Mariner’s game (PDS e-mail files) hardly inspires confidence that the anyone in the city has any interest in our neighborhood, much less our privately-owned trees.
Links and Mummery are connected with other proposed Shoreline development projects. Are you really sure your neighborhood and your property aren't next?