Letter: Proposed construction unfair and unsafe

Oct 11, 2017

As easily developed land becomes scarcer in Mukilteo and Snohomish County, homebuilders and cities continue to push the boundaries of what land is considered buildable. The latest example is located at the very end of 63rd PL West in Olympus Terrace.

This letter will highlight two concerns: landowners of unbuildable lots who avoid property taxes for decades then miraculously turn their property into buildable lots, and developers’ continued push to build on steep slopes despite a history of instability and slides.

Tax records show that the lot in question, a 1.1 acre steeply sloped parcel in Big Gulch, was assessed for $40,000 from 2013-2017. With no improvements, the 2018 assessment jumped to $178,000. I wonder why this property was not accurately assessed all along. For comparison, land-only assessments for much smaller lots on the west side of 63rd Street are between $500,000 and $600,000.

Readers should come down and view this lot. At the adjacent home above it, heavy equipment is being used to pound 60-foot I-beams and pour concrete to rebuild the driveway, which slid into the ravine and has been unusable for several years.

A sewer line from Olympus Terrace and a beach access easement run through the property. Several years ago, a huge slide swept this area forcing the city to rebuild the walking easement. A hiker on this trail can hear the flow of ground water year-round.

The notice of application states “the applicant has requested two variances: Reduce the building setback from the critical slope from 25 feet to 0 feet and reduce the building setback from the front property line from 25 feet to 0 feet.”

The proposed house is 2,250 square feet with a 45x50’ footprint with four stories. To even grab a tiny footprint on this steep, unstable slope it will be built ON the property line!

Building a house on this property is a bad idea. The lot is steep, unstable, has a recent history of slides and running groundwater. To be remotely practical, a house would need to be built on the property line.

It also is unfair to the Mukilteo residents that have been paying their fair share of property taxes while the current owners have avoided them. Don’t give Jake Begis and Possession Lane Development/Daffron Family another windfall.

 

William Davis

Mukilteo

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