Letter to the Editor: Summary of DEIS Lake Forest Park Town Center comments

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

To the Editor:

In response to the Lake Forest Park Town Center DEIS, citizens have written letters to express their thoughts on the DEIS, the potential for redevelopment and to reflect on the 2018 Vision for the Town Center. Citizen comments were due on February 1, 2019. On March 4, 2019, the letters were made available in the Dropbox “LFP Town Center Code Update References > Draft Environmental Impact Statement (from Mandi Roberts, Otak P/D). This folder is very difficult to find.

The following is a tally of letters representing households, local groups (e.g., Stewardship Foundation and the 2018 Vision Committee), Utilities (e.g., Water District), Merlone Geier/Foster Pepper (Law Firm), and subject matter experts in land use and the environment. Some letters were listed in duplicate, which were not included in the tally. Some letters had multiple signatures, representing different households, which were counted once for each household that signed. In the tally, there are approximately 288 households represented by a letter in the Dropbox.

The table summarizes the various responses as follows:
  • 17 represented favorable opinions of the DEIS
  • 178 represented unfavorable opinions of the DEIS
  • The remaining letters shared no opinion of the DEIS
  • 13 favorable on high density development in the Town Center
  • 153 unfavorable on high density development in the Town Center
Other letters covered topics of importance were:
  • 38 favored open space
  • 148 commented on increase in traffic and/or the ST3 parking garage
  • 96 about environment, protective of LFP
  • 49 on infrastructure, majority concerned about supporting the density
  • Nine (9) questioned the source/method for determining the 700 units
  • 40 supported Alternative 1
  • Third Place Commons, when mentioned, was consistently supported
  • Merlone Geier said they sent 7 letters to the City -- they are not in the Dropbox
  • 10 letters suggested corrections to the DEIS document 17 represented favorable opinions of DEIS
The goal of the tally is to grasp an overview of approximately 300 scanned documents. This is not a perfect tally, but one can determine the important topics and the tone. It is encouraged for everyone to read as many of the letters as possible. As we move towards creating a Town Center that reflects the 2018 Vision, the answers are in these letters.

Shary Van
Lake Forest Park


Anonymous,  March 20, 2019 at 11:31 AM  

Town Center is a large slab of pavement at the intersection of two very busy arterials. Redevelopment with density is a logical progressive option for the space. Affordable apartments would be a boon to the area - buses and shops right out your door. I'm sorry for the folks who would lose a view, but remember someone was unhappy when the house you are living in was built. The remediation for traffic is mass transit. I think this is the time for residents of LFP to stand up for green development, affordable housing, and mass transit. Make the developers pay for preservation of the green spaces that exist, and purchase land to be set aside for more park space in return for the increased density. This can be a win/win no matter how painful it feels right now.

Anonymous,  March 21, 2019 at 1:32 PM  

I agree completely. The one thing that LFP Residents DO NOT want is increased density in their single-family neighborhoods, and the win-win to this is centering density where it makes the most sense - where the transit connections and amenities are at Town Center. I don't think anyone who has been to the LFP Town Center would say that the property is at its highest and best use, and certainly more services, more restaurants, upgraded retail, civic event spaces and residences would all add to the current property and provided wanted and needed amenities for residents to enjoy. By doing all of this in a limited fashion and high-quality construction it could easily be a win-win-win. Development is possible that will maintain the ambiance of the city well into the future if we don't NIMBY it away to another city.

Anonymous,  March 21, 2019 at 8:33 PM  

There has been no presentation on how the apartment housing would look, size of units or price. Most of us LFP residents are skeptical as to affordability. Should we have some housing for seniors here, or just another ugly box like are being built all over Seattle, Shoreline and elsewhere. This is our city and most of us do not want to be a cookie cutter of what is happening in other communities.

Pat Coryell,  March 26, 2019 at 12:15 PM  

The town center is used and enjoyed as it exists. There has been no large demand for additional apartment complexes. The majority of the letters and many more individuals with whom I've spoken do not want to see this kind of development at the Lake Forest Park center or big 700 unit developments anywhere in Lake Forest Park. The additional density, the additional traffic and wear on our city services really isn't desirable, in my opinion. My home purchase in Lake Forest Park was based on it being as it is, filled with trees, homes with some space around them and the community much as we currently experience it. I have been following the council meetings and all of the input on Nextdoor by thoughtful, well informed residents. I am against the zoning changes.

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