The June 27 public hearing on the Seattle 2035 Comp Plan featured eloquent commentary by people from many neighborhoods and from all walks of life. We are transcribing and publishing some of these comments.
I have read the part of the Mayor’s plan that purports to cover my neighborhood, which is Jackson Park – it’s a mile north of Northgate. It clearly indicates that whoever wrote it has no understanding of the importance of the land uphill from the Thornton Creek watershed.
Just adjacent to the proposed Urban Village and upzone at NE 130th St. we have two remnant second-growth forests on public land, at Northacres Park and south of Jackson Park golf course. These are connected by numerous mature, native, coniferous trees on private property, some of which is currently zoned Single-Family.
Audubon Society members in our neighborhood have logged more than 80 bird species here in the last decade, even though we are right on the shoulders of I-5. My neighbors regularly see Great Pileated Woodpeckers in their garden. The proposed upzone will lead to the destruction of the connecting forest between these remnants to make way for seven-story condos, and the birds will die, or flee.
When the rain falls in my neighborhood, it percolates slowly through the tree canopy and the open gardens and riparian vegetation. This filters out the petroleum products and heavy metals from the runoff. Thornton Creek actually comes out of my neighborhood cleaner than it flows into it.
As your plans stand now, the construction of a light rail station at 130th St. would trigger “Transit Oriented Development” smack in the middle of this comparatively forested area. No amount of mitigation will make up for the toxic runoff caused by large amounts of paving.
And all of this is [only] 440 yards from Thornton Creek, once the source of 30% of the salmon in Lake Washington. You’ve already spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars on projects to improve fish habitat further downstream, none of which will be worth a swear-word if you cause further degradation of the habitat upstream with your planned development.
Fifty years ago, some fool bulldozed I-5 right through the Thornton Creek riparian area. They had an excuse: They didn’t know any better. What’s your excuse?
> In this video, at time index 1:26:52.