Letters for the week of April 4

Apr 04, 2012

Donate garage sale items for Aaron Zarate scholarship

Dear Editor,

Remembering and honoring our Aaron continues by working hard at funding the Aaron Zarate Memorial Scholarship to help students of Mukilteo School District, so once again, at the Zarates’ home, we will host our sixth annual garage sale!

The garage sale is set for 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 27-29, Friday-Sunday, at 4902 99th St. S.W. in Mukilteo. Call 425-493-1524 or email ajzaratememorial@msn.com or zaratefamily6@msn.com for more information.

Donations will be accepted now until the evening of Friday, April 27, including clothing, toys, household items, furniture, tools and so much more. No computers, monitors or mattresses please.

Please don't be shy about donating your stuff. If it's in good shape, we will attempt to sell it!

We will be selling snacks, drinks and hot dogs.

The Mukilteo yard sales are HUGE! The whole city of Mukilteo participates. It's a great opportunity to raise money and find some great deals. Showing your support by donating is HUGE and we need your stuff!

But we also need you to encourage others to donate or stop by, shop, or have a hot dog or even passing this email to let the word out.

We can also try to pick up donations!! We have a few weeks, so contact us. The Zarate family would love to hear from you.

For more information, please visit our website at www.aaronzaratescholarship.com and look us up on Facebook and "like" our page to help spread the word about our garage sale fundraiser for Aaron Zarate scholarships that helps kids help themselves!

We hope we will see or hear from you soon.

In our Aaron's loving spirit,

Lisa Zarate,

Mukilteo

Mukilteo's plan is for over development

Dear Editor,

Mukilteo's planning department has erred on the side of fiscal gain with the approval of Raymond Ridge housing development, which was scheduled to begin bulldozing on Monday, April 2.

This forested 12-acre site has been a neighborhood haven of wildlife since the city was formed. Privately owned by Jack and Audrey Raymond for close to 50 years, the property was sold upon Jack's death.

The new owner, a property developer, approached the city of Mukilteo in 2007 and was approved for a 22-unit housing development.

The neighborhood tried (in vain) to appeal to the city's planners to limit the number of units to a more reasonable and sustainable amount. The builder was approved for 30 units, and he made a decision to build 22.

Due to the economic recession of 2008, it appeared the development would be put on hold. At least that is what the neighborhood assumed as nothing more was done with the property.

That is, until last Tuesday, March 27, when two signs were posted. One sign stated that the forest trail used by neighborhood children to walk to and from Mukilteo Elementary and Olympic View Middle School would be closed on April 2.

The other was a no trespassing sign posted by the contracting company. This was a shock to the neighborhood. Bulldozing to begin with less than a week's notice.

After five years, the conditions for approval of this site need to be revisited. Traffic has increased substantially on Goat Trail Road. The traffic safety issues alone are worthy of re-evaluation. Mukilteo has reached it's maximum build-out.

To further extend more development will fill the city's coffers, but destroy the quality of life in this fair little city. We are the stewards of this space. We need to seriously review our values. Balance is key.

One characteristic on the citizens of Mukilteo is our collective community spirit. We care about our city. Most are concerned with the quality of life here. We were not voted one of the 10 best cities for nothing.

Laura Mullen,

Mukilteo

To develop would be dangerous

Dear Editor,

I'm puzzled and shocked by the city's development permitting process.

The last greenbelt in the Goat Trail Road area of Mukilteo is about to be bulldozed to make way for 22 homes. They will be sandwiched up against Mukilteo Elementary, and will eliminate the most heavily used access point to the school for all students living to the north.

The driveway into this five-acre parcel with 100-130 foot tall firs (which, in theory, should be protected, but could be destroyed with one "accident" by a contractor) is the main drop-off point for parents, and all this activity happens at a blind corner coming off a steep hill.

I'm not saying that these parents are "right" in doing so, but I am saying that this drop-off activity, and the convergence of all the kids walking along Goat Trail Road en route to school, will have to go somewhere, and people are creatures of habit. Everyone will try to do as they have always done.

Have you ever been on Goat Trail Road between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.? There's no sidewalk on the west side, and there's traffic zipping blindly around the corner on the east side. All the kids on the sidewalk have to cross right at this corner.

The daycare that is adjacent to this lot and the corner saw first-hand how a car could launch off the road last month – and land in the playground.

The operator lives in mortal fear that increased traffic combined with the poor sight lines, hazardous geography, increased congestion with construction vehicles, and virtually no notice to residents of the impending slash-and-burn operation, will lead to a disastrous incident of children mixing with trucks – and the children losing.

Beyond the construction blight, though, local residents are quite up in arms about the impending destruction of the last vestige of the character of the area, and of Mukilteo, in general.

This lot has served as a natural buffer between the school and the homes all around. Residents and their kids have generally respected this lot as private property, and cherished the solace it offered to all who passed on the busy trail to Mukilteo Elementary and Olympic View Middle School.

Local residents fear that the addition of 22 new homes in such a small space will lead to traffic problems that the city has not properly accounted for – not only the construction traffic, but more from the eventual new residents and their 50 additional cars.

This corner is poorly suited for additional traffic revisions due to geography, poor sight lines, and existing driveways and intersections and crosswalks.

Local residents are angry with the city for allowing this kind of development in an area of generally larger lots, and for allowing the wholesale destruction of the environment that formed the natural character of Mukilteo's Goat Trail area for the past 50 years or more.

This character is the reason most of the residents moved to the area, and they are chagrined to see the area plowed down to allow a real-estate speculator to cram in more tract housing.

Most think that the city's zoning and development regulations are way too lax, and that this encourages slash-and-burn development, as opposed to more thoughtful, habitat-conserving development.

They also expect that there'll be little effort to enforce zoning rules that are supposed to protect large old-growth firs, as they can be readily turned into dollars provided by lumber buyers.

In the never-ending battle between property rights and environmental conservation, the short-term interests of the property developers continue to far outweigh the long-term interests of the entire community.

This imbalance needs to be rectified to preserve the character of the community. The city can do this through zoning and development regulations.

Do approvals from five or more years ago remain valid forever? Do you want the whole city to look like Highway 99? What attracted you to this community? Does it bother you that it is gone? It bothers me.

Kurt Roberts,

Mukilteo

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