Reader view: Clarifying Lynnwood City Council discussion on unincorporated Meadowdale request

Considering the recent Lynnwood City Council work session on Sept. 18, 2023 (especially Item 6.C. on the Meadowdale unincorporated area), the residents of the currently unincorporated Meadowdale area would like to offer a few clarifications. These are especially in light of the comments made by Councilmember Jim Smith in regards to the amenities, access and services currently provided in the area under discussion. This work session discussion was prompted by the recent unanimous decision by the Edmonds City Council to request formal discussions with Lynnwood and Snohomish County to re-boundary the area into Edmonds Municipal Urban Growth Area, as it is currently in Lynnwood’s Municipal Urban Growth Area (see article here).

First, the area encompassing the 47 households as depicted in the map presented by Mr. Almgren are all addressed as Edmonds in the 98026 area code. Further, contrary to the statements made by Councilmember Smith and confirmation made by Mr. Almgren, this area is directly accessible from downtown Edmonds without ever entering the city of Lynnwood. It is also equally accessible through Seaview and other areas, as well as from the intersection of 76th and 196th. 

Second, and also contrary to statements made by Councilmember Smith, there are no improved parks in the area under consideration. The City of Lynnwood owns the parcels due east of the neighborhood (parcel 00513100003901 and 00513100004400), but the county owns the parcel due north (parcel 00513100002003), which is adjacent to and managed as part of Snohomish County’s Meadowdale Beach Park. There is some kind of stormwater management system installed on the Lynnwood-owned parcels, but there are no park improvements or access points except through private property from the west boundary of both parcels. From the Snohomish County Online Property Information (SCOPI) interactive web map,  it appears as though there may be a road easement (but no existing road infrastructure) extending 160th Street Southwest eastward between the two parcels enumerated above. But the practicality of extending this road is limited because of both topography (likely to be a critical slope immediately east of where the road currently ends) and the current zoning of these parcels as greenspace. It would be much more practical and feasible (especially considering the need for off-street and ADA parking) to provide access to these Lynnwood-owned greenspace parcels through a trail system originating from 60th Avenue West or somewhere further east (i.e. Sundquist Nature Park), as has been discussed at some length in previous planning and budget documents from the city. 

Third, there are no city-provided services or amenities in the area under consideration. There are no sidewalks on the east side of 68th for the entire distance of the road down to the intersection with North Meadowdale Road, including the portion that is currently within Lynnwood city limits. Only the west side, within Edmonds city limits, has sidewalks. South County Fire provides fire and EMS services, and Snohomish County Sheriff provides law and code enforcement. SnoPUD provides power and gas, and Alderwood Water District provides water. Due to topography, all stormwater drains into 68th and is managed by the system therein, which is likely to be owned/operated  by Edmonds for much of the area under consideration (though the residents are unable to confirm this through publicly-accessible data). None of the 47 households are connected to a sewer system. 

Thus, as it relates to Councilmember Smith’s notion of Lynnwood needing to recoup “big money” from Edmonds because of previous investments and lost access by Lynnwood, there is very little evidence to support this claim. The residents of this area are strongly in favor of pursuing annexation by Edmonds and would appreciate the Lynnwood Council’s good faith in evaluating this proposition objectively, and with accurate data. 

– By Zach Bloomfield

On behalf of Concerned Unincorporated Meadowdale residents 

  1. For goodness sake‘s give that parcel to the city of Edmonds. All Lynnwood has done with the areas surrounding Lund’s gulch is approve devastating housing projects. The Sundquist nature Park is a joke. The same family clear-cut and dropped trees into Lund’s Creek to build their 40 houses on the southside of the Gulch. On the north side of the Gulch there is a large housing development being built also just above Lund’s Creek. As other letter writers have noted the more development and clearcutting that is allowed the less habitat we have surrounding our salmon bearing creeks.

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