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The very heart and soul of Federal Way is being tested in the appeal of the High Point Mixed Use. The plan to shoehorn in 300 housing units above commercial development, on 320th right across from Safeway on 320th has been intensely opposed by the community. Over 80 people joined in the appeal against it. In spite of an outpouring of citizens, the proposal is going forward.
Our city’s comprehensive plan promises to “Preserve and protect Federal Way’s single-family neighborhoods”… yet this proposal will open a back door into our neighborhood and allow strangers right into our quiet streets. Kids play safely in front of people’s homes now. This will not be the case any more. This is an unacceptable impact that we neighbors are trying to stop.
The city promises to “Protect residential areas from impacts of adjacent non-residential“ yet not in this location, apparently.
The city appears to be giving the developer preferential treatment, offering him reduced parking places (only 1.5 spots per unit) reduced buffer with the neighborhood (only 11.25 instead of 15-foot buffer) reduced lawns (from 20 feet to 10 feet by the neighbors)… it goes on and on with variances to the City Frame zoning. This proposal gives nothing to the people -- not at all.
The city promises to “Maintain and protect the character of existing and future single-family neighborhoods," yet this proposal will strip all living things from the school bus barn property, removing trees and and hedges that have been growing as a screen for over 40 years. People’s quality of life will be diminished and the character of the neighborhood destroyed if they take every tree. And I thought we were supposed to be a ‘green city’!
The hearing will be on July 28 at the City Council Chambers. I hope people will come and show support for us. This will be the litmus test for Federal Way. Do the laws and rules created to fight this kind of poorly planned and sited development really work? The founders of our city would be appalled by this High Point Mixed Use project.
Leah Boehm-Brady, Federal Way