Letter to the Editor: Background on effort to save 133 tall trees by WSDOT

Sunday, February 16, 2020

To the Editor:

I would like to add some background on Save Shoreline Trees' cause to save the tall tree canopy at the WSDOT HQ property at 15700 Dayton Ave. N. in Shoreline, WA ("Dayton Trees") as follows:

Due to the cost of the proposed remodeling of WSDOT's headquarters, WSDOT is required to pay for frontage improvements to the City of Shoreline.

I, like other Shoreline voters, voted in favor of installing more sidewalks in Shoreline. Therefore, according to Shoreline's Engineering Development Manual, its Transportation Master Plan, and sidewalks-prioritization plan, the standard 8' wide concrete sidewalks are the Code requirements for the City's right of way ("ROW") property surrounding WSDOT HQ. 

When a few residents looked into the permit request, they were horrified that 133 tall trees had to be removed to comply with the City's request. A letter-writing campaign was launched to try to stop the destruction of the tall trees. Save Shoreline Trees, a non-profit group grew out of that effort and over 285 objections have been registered with the City of Shoreline's project manager.

The plea has not fallen on deaf ears. As of Friday (2/14/20), the City of Shoreline is waiting for a re-design to be submitted by WSDOT to the City. Accompanying WSDOT's re-design should be an arborist report as well as a reconfiguration and/or alternative choice(s) for the composition of the sidewalks on the streets surrounding the WSDOT HQ property. If the re-design is denied by the City because of its Code's regulations, we are asking WSDOT to apply for a variance.

Shoreline residents have witnessed the diminishing tall tree canopy in our city. There is a need for our collective voices to be heard by Shoreline City administrators. The Dayton Trees have and continue to silently perform important and valuable environmental services for Shoreline residents, such as providing nest sites for birds, cleaning our air, soaking up groundwater and excess storm rainfall, and being traffic noise barriers. Our city is growing and with thoughtful urban planning, our tall tree canopy should be a priority worthy of preserving.

Susanne Tsoming


Anonymous,  February 16, 2020 at 10:41 PM  

It's a unique and beautiful street that will lose its character if the trees are removed.

Unknown February 17, 2020 at 11:22 AM  

Thank you Susanne for your thoughtful and well written letter. There are many causes and important events that fill our days, however once these trees are cut down, they are forever lost. They scrub the carbon in our air on a daily basis and filter our water to help the salmon and Orcas. Trees keep us alive! www.saveshorelinetrees.com

Isis February 18, 2020 at 3:01 PM  

The noise level from Aurora would be more intense. The trees absorb sound.

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