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Federal Way housing project unwanted | Letter
The High Point development in the planning stages for the old bus yard on 320th is unwanted by the neighborhood it will abut and is not in keeping with the overall design that permeates most of Federal Way.
One of the best reasons to live in Federal Way is the melding of nature with man-made structures. Except in the city “core,” this is to be the site of urban decay, acres of cracking pavement and weed-choked vacant lots and, if the project is allowed, our own little ghetto.
At the meeting to inform area residents of how much worse it could be, Devco brought in pretty renderings of the proposed development. They had all these “consultants” provide information regarding building heights and the impact on the area.
I have a problem with consultants that are a part of the company making the bid on the property.
Isn’t that like putting the wolves in charge of the sheep? They are going to be honest and say how much impact there really is going to be on the neighborhood, on the services loads carried by Federal Way, on the local schools, on the concerns regarding the traffic problems caused by putting all those people in a small space and not providing adequate parking, or space for them? The “consultant” from Devco stated that “legally we could make them much higher.” If he was a consultant, why use the word “we?” Sounds like one of the investors to me.
Matt Herrera was there as well to tell us that the traffic is not going to be a problem because there is mass transit available. There is mass transit available in downtown Seattle and frankly the traffic is appalling. It just seems if 92 buses could not make it in and out of the bus yard twice a day before major traffic times, that all the new residents of this proposed project are not going to have a good time of it.
Neither are those people who have to use that route daily. Currently, Devco states that the children in the development will be able to walk to Mirror Lake Elementary School and to Federal Way High School by walking through the neighborhood to the north. There are no sidewalks on 317th.
And this intrusion into the neighborhood is over the objection of the residents. That says nothing about the over-crowding at Mirror Lake Elementary. The proposal that high school students walk behind the Pavilion Shopping Center is a worse idea. Not only is it going to create a breeding ground for gang activities and vandalism, kids actually wanting to go to school will have to run a gauntlet to get there.
Using 320th is dangerous. The sidewalks are overgrown with hedges and passing another person is difficult if you both want to stay on the sidewalk. On Eighth Avenue South there is a two-and-a-half foot wide shoulder on each side of the street. There is no curbing, so young children will have to be kept inside the painted area.
Supposedly, the number of people living in this tenement will be around 1.4 per unit (let’s hope the 1.0 is the adult). I don’t see, with all those multi-bedroom units, how Devco will be able to pay the bank loans on this property with such a low density of people, yet these are the figures used for population impact.
They won’t drive cars, they won’t have children running in and out of stores when the schools are not open, they won’t be having any friends come to visit. None of them will need any of the already stretched assistance for food, housing, or medical services available in Federal Way.
Their .4 child will walk straight to school and straight home without disruption to the neighborhood they walk through. And all of them will work and pay taxes. No, it is more likely they will be very full, Devco will make a killing, and the owner will do nothing about the problems his development causes, because he lives in Bellevue and it isn’t his backyard.
All of this is moot. The sale of the property is in the hands of the school board. And they will not talk to the people who do not want this to happen. They can vote to let the sale fall through and they are not going to. Why? I don’t have that answer, but I certainly would like to.
Marcia Silicani, Federal Way