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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 25, 2009 at 6:00 AM

New King County jail

Avoid residential sites

I am writing to you as one of many gravely concerned Shoreline residents about the Shoreline Aldercrest Annex as a proposed site for the new King County Jail. This is by far the most “residential” site selected, surrounded by quiet neighborhoods, schools, churches and parks.

This site is also the territorial view from the homes of many residents, especially those to the west of the site. It is a tranquil view now; turning it into a jail would not only drastically decrease property values, but adversely affect the quality of life for nearby residents. The territorial view is one of things that attracted me to buy my home on 23rd Avenue Northeast in Shoreline. This is the same view for all residents on this street, as well as the nearby Lake Forest Park condos, 25th Place condos and many other condo and apartment complexes.

The site is currently used for recreation by many nearby residents, for personal use and for organized sports. A far better alternative use for the land would be a park, a new school or more housing. Keeping it a green space would be best for the neighborhood.

I was appalled to see that the North/East Cities (NEC) Environmental Impact Statement’s (EIS) scoping does not consider housing, population and recreation important to their study. What could possibly be more important than these factors in a residential community such as ours?

The residents in the community need to be top priority, not what is easiest for the county and or city to do to get construction under way. I understand that the land is currently “available” in the county’s eyes, but that should not be a major deciding factor in this neighborhood.

Additionally, Lake Forest Park residents and Mount Lake Terrace residents need raise their awareness of this issue. Mass mailings need to be sent to all of them.

This has really flown under the radar in a lot of ways for a lot of neighborhood residents and is causing much frustration and distrust toward city and county officials. Please, get involved to make sure that the jail is not built in our neighborhood. The industrial-zoned sites are far more appropriate locations.

— James Harvey, Shoreline

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