Neighbors speak during public hearing on Gateway project

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Screenshot (219)Residents and land owners shared their concerns and desires for the Gateway project between 236th Street Southwest and 244th Street Southwest across the street from the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center during a public hearing at Monday night’s City Council meeting.

The project is on the site of the old Evergreen Elementary School, north of Gateway Place. It will serve as a connection between 244th Street Southwest and 236th Street Southwest and will include a signalized intersection at the new Gateway Boulevard and 236th Street Southwest.

Three six-story buildings will be constructed, containing a total of more than 600 residential units, 1,000 parking spaces and 90,000 square feet of commercial space. The presentation given Monday can be seen in full here.

Residents who commented on the project Monday supported the development, but have some things they want addressed during construction.

Ernie Overholtzer lives near the northern end of the development. Near his home are stairs that were once used to access the school, but now he says they are dangerous.

“What I would like is to have the stairs removed. They are overgrown and very dangerous,” he said. “There is no lighting and it is very dark at night.”

Charles Tupper says he has seen inches of standing water on his patio this year, and the hillside is already unstable without the development.

“What is going to happen if they take that wetland out of there and move it? Is my house going to be on the bottom?” he said.

A landowner and a resident do not want to see their homes lose parking space as a result of the development, which will take about three feet away from front yards in one area of development.

“My truck is 19-feet 6-inches long. Right now, I have 20 feet from the front of my house to the sidewalk,” resident Eric Broadley said.

The development would also likely result in increased traffic in the area, which neighbors are concerned about.

Steve Cox, one of the developers of the project, was at the meeting and addressed citizens.

“I think the right answer is to get together with the neighbors, walk through their concerns and then provide a reasonable solution,” Cox said.

Cox also said Monday night that removing the stairs on the north side of the property would likely be a reasonable solution, as would realigning fences.

Councilwoman Laura Sonmore said that response is unprecedented in her city council career.

“For you to say you’ll meet with these neighbors, that blows me away. Thank you,” she said. “I have been on council for 16 years and I have never heard a developer say anything like that.”

The agreement between the city and the developer passed unanimously Monday night.

Also on Monday night:

  • Council said farewell to interim city engineer and engineering services director Chad Schulhauser, whose last day is April 15. The new city engineer John Cowling was introduced.
  • An update on live/work development standards was presented to council.
  • Two diesel trucks and a tractor mower were surplussed.

–By Natalie Covate

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