Snohomish County Wilderness Park In, Housing Development Out

Snohomish County Wilderness Park In, Housing Development Out

A Lake Roesiger property which was once slated to become a mini-city complete with shopping malls and housing development strips is now slated to become a 2,900-acre wilderness park. Once developed, the park will be twice the size of the county’s Lord Hill Regional Park located near Monroe.

The land belongs to developer Dave Barnett of Shoreline, who in years past had been trying to build 6,000 homes there. His proposed “Falcon Ridge”
development also would have included shops and a golf course. The county in 2009 did away with the zoning that would have allowed Falcon Ridge to be built.

But many residents were against the development of new housing tracts in the rural community and felt that a wilderness park which could be used for to harvest timber and as a source of tax revenue would be  a much better fit.

Under the plan, Snohomish County would control public access to the future park, while the state would manage most of the area for timber. Every few decades, the state would harvest timber and send any profit to its Common School Trust, which pays for building public schools statewide.

When it comes to choosing housing development or expanding wilderness and parks, it doesn’t need to be an either/or situation. Nature preserves serve as not only an aesthetic addition to any community; they can also increase the value of existing housing.  Both the development of housing tracts and the expansion of parks need to take into the account the current needs of the community, population growth, the tax needs of the city and the environment.

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