PUBLIC HEARING: PHASE III FIRCREST DEVELOPMENT
Planning commissioners, we are opposed to the Phase III stage of the Fir Crest Development as that plan now stands.
In reviewing proposed Stage III phase, we have found a variety of non-compliance issues, and additionally, have some serious environmental concerns regarding this project. Some of these issues and concerns, I will to defer to other EI Board Members who will be speaking to you later tonight. The points I would like to emphasize are as follows:
1. The Phase III planned development is too dense for this area. The proposed plan calls for a PUD, which would entail 21 units. As I’m certain you know, the area is currently zoned R1 – which allows for 2 units per acre for a total of 14. The developer is asking for an increase in density of 33 percent. We believe this wrong, and as will explain, the impacts of these increased densities would be significant. We ask that the plan not be approved unless it complies with current R1 densities. Please do not allow this plan to be developed unless it stays within the appropriate and already proscribed 2 units-per-acre guidelines.
2. This plan is out of compliance with the hydrological standards established by our city. I refer here to the City Drainage Ordinance # (and please excuse the long list of numbers and letters to follow) AMC 13.36.070 (A) LPSPR #2 which requires the preservation of natural drainage systems. The proposed Phase III plan calls for diverting water out of Mitten Pond into another watershed. We ask that you do not approve this plan unless it meets the appropriate standards.
3. Additionally, we ask that another detention pond be required to control the release of storm water from numerous impervious surfaces into our City Forest Lands. As you know, the slopes are very steep in this area. Water here can flow downhill fast and in great volume. Please require that serious erosion be prevented in our neighboring forestlands by controlling that inevitable flow of water. Another detention pond would help to do this.
4. We ask that a no-chemical landscaping policy be implemented in the Phase III area. As will be emphasized in later testimony, the planned development is adjacent to an important aquifer for a considerable number of Anacortes citizens. Please protect their water.
5. Finally we have grave doubts that the proposed buffers as offered by this plan can provide protection in such a precipitous place. Perhaps on paper or in theory, yes. Or perhaps on a flat stretch of land. But not on the real topography where this development will occur. One merely needs to think back to the buffers that were lost in Sunset Cove to illustrate my point. For this land, we ask that more realistic buffers be imposed.
On behalf of Evergreen Islands, thank you very much for this opportunity to speak to you tonight.