Letter to the editor

M’ville needs to place a moratorium on development

“Spook Woods” is the nickname for a wooded area that borders 51st Avenue NE near Pinewood Elementary. It is a small woodlot that is caged on all sides by development. And now it is slated to become an extremely dense housing project.

Gamut 360, the prospective developer, recently announced their proposal to pack 30 large homes in that small area. The estimated minimum size of each unit is 1,800 square feet, although many are projected to exceed 2,000 square feet. Given that the average American family owns two cars, we can assume that a minimum of 60 new vehicles will be added to our already congested streets. This presents a major challenge because Marysville officials are not adequately handling our current level of growth. We have a traffic crisis in this city, and new developments constantly popping up do not lessen this serious reality. The seemingly infinite amount of construction in Marysville is injecting hundreds of new cars on our clogged roads every year. As a community, we have utterly failed to cope with our growth, and something has to change.

Spook Woods should be preserved. Urban wooded areas serve as sound barriers, and residents desperately need some guarantee of peace and quiet in the face of escalating noise pollution. By conserving these woods, Marysville would also safeguard part of its heritage as a small town. I call upon Marysville leaders to impose a temporary moratorium on all urban sprawl – development of undeveloped land. Temporarily halting disruptive growth will allow our city to combat urban decay, demolish dangerous structures and redevelop old or vacant properties.

We have no shortage of vacant buildings and urban blight. There are numerous aspects of economic growth, and we should embrace them in order to improve our city’s quality of life and public image. City planners should keep all of this in mind or residents will be permanently caged by endless traffic and sardined development.

Benjamin Holmes, Marysville

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