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Twin Lakes, please don't become Northshore | Federal Way letters
I live across the street from Northshore Golf Course.
Having gone through three years (and probably more to come) of horrible anxiety regarding the possible development of the course into 860 housing units, I am here to tell the residents of Twin Lakes that paying an extra $25 per month to save your golf course, not only as a course but as open space, is a small price to pay to maintain your standard of living.
If Twin Lakes Golf Course goes away, you will quickly learn that $25 is a drop in the bucket compared to what future costs you will incur. The environmental impact studies, and mitigation costs, that the developer will not have to pay for will knock you for a loop.
For example, schools. The State of Washington and local codes only require that a developer pay a fee per housing unit to help offset the cost of school impact fees. Only "brick and mortor" costs are considered. The developer does not have to pay for extra busing, teachers, books, future school operating costs such as utilities, security or extra playground equipment. Your property taxes have to pay for that.
The transportation impact will be substantial. If Twin Lakes residents think their commutes are bad now, just wait until more cars are added from all those houses where fairways use to be. Residents will also find out that in order to try to compel the developer to build a community with the least amount of adverse impact on the existing neighborhood, you will need to hire an attorney to protect your interests, much the same as Northshore homeowners have had to do.
Some NE Tacoma homeowners associations have increased monthly dues by $25 or more per month just to pay legal fees. Adding up legal costs, future property tax increases, extra commute times (more gasoline costs), loss of your open space and loss of the Twin Lakes neighborhood identity will be much more expensive compared to paying an extra $25 per month for peace of mind as well as the ability to enjoy the amenities of the golf, recreation and restaurant facilities.
Save your golf course. It is a good deal.
Robert Guile, Tacoma