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This week in history - from The Arlington Times archives

10 years ago 1996

Port Blakey Tree Farms has received preliminary approval to build a cluster subdivision in Arlington Heights. Located between 115th and 127th Avenue NE, the development, named Arlington Crest, will contain 22 lots within a 28-acre parcel. The action comes over the protests of several members of the Arlington Heights Improvement Club, who attempted to sway Hearing Examiner John Galt against the project at a recent public meeting. Concerns centered around ground water contamination from septic tanks and storm drainage systems, inadequate roads to serve additional housing units, adverse impacts to public schools, and general opposition to the concept of rural cluster subdivisions. Many of the people testified that they moved to Arlington Heights for seclusion and the country atmosphere, and that cluster housing poses a direct threat to their way of life. In his ruling, Galt found that Port Blakey had satisfactorily addressed the primary concerns as obligated by current law. He pointed out that applications are determined not by the preferences of surrounding property owners, but by adopted ordinances and policies. The cluster housing ordinance was passed by the
County Council in May. It seeks to encourage rural development in less environmentally sensitive areas where public services can be easily accessed. By preserving a portion of the land as open space, the builder is rewarded with a bonus density, which allows for construction of more units than customarily allowed under current zoning laws. Port Blakey proposes to place the lots in a single cluster in the center of the property, surrounded by undisturbed forest land. Average lot size is 22,651 square feet, close to half an acre. Adjoining land owner Chuck Shipley said he wasnt surprised by the hearing examiners decision. He really didnt have any other choice. Shipley said the neighborhood coalition lost an opportunity by missing the deadline to challenge the planning departments assertion that the plat wasnt environmentally sensitive enough to require an impact statement. Members of the Arlington Heights Improvement Club met last week to discuss the hearing examiners decision. Resident Laura Hofmann, who testified at the public hearing, said members of the club intend to file for a reconsideration. Technically this is a rezone, said Hofmann. She feels the cluster ordinance may be in violation of the Growth Management Act, which does not allow for urban growth in the countryside. If the hearing examiner declines to change the ruling, the club can then file an appeal with the County Council.

25 years ago 1981

The elderly will benefit most if a Snohomish County Community Transit bus run is opened between Arlington and Darrington. This is the belief of Ruth Kuhia, the initiator of the areas request for bus service. Without bus service and unable to drive, several Darrington area elderly residents are forced to pay $25 for bus rides to Everett, Kuhia said. Having to pay such a high price for transportation to Everett draws heavily from their already low income, she added, especially when a senior citizen has to make two trips a week. While the elderly suffer the biggest hardship because of the lack of bus service, young people are affected, too. The youngsters need the bus badly to get to and from sporting events, Kuhia said. Many of the youngsters play soccer and the practices are held in Arlington. A lot of parents didnt let their kids join sports because of the cost of gas (needed to drive them to Arlington and back), Kuhia said. The proposed bus service between Arlington and Darrington by Community Transit received support from the elderly and other residents at two recent public hearings. Public hearings held simultaneously in Oso and Darrington drew about 60 people interested in acquiring some sort of bus service. People got their questions about Community Transit bus service answered, Kuhia said. The public met with members of the Community Transit planning teams and learned the planning process through a brief presentation and a film. At the Darrington High School multi-purpose room 25 people attended the transit meeting while 36 people met in Osos Mt. Wheeler grange. I wish more people were there, Kuhia said, but she believed it was a good turnout. The publics input helps Community Transit determine the feasibility of a bus service between Arlington and Darrington. Community Transit was pleased with the residents participation, a nice crowd, said Ed Howell, a Community Transit spokesman. Discussion from the public was sought to help the planners better understand the particular problems and needs for public transportation between the two towns. The people in attendance filled out a questionnaire to supply Community Transit with information about the people in the area. Through the information compiled from the questionnaires, the transit planners will prepare a transportation plan; for example, daily, weekly or two times a week. Also, what time in the day the bus will run, like in early or mid-morning and back again in the afternoon, Howell said. The plan should be ready for presentation to the area residents in February, Howell said. Kuhia wishes the process for acquiring bus service was quicker. At the meetings the people in attendance were informed that the bus service would begin around September 1982 if approved. The Community Transit board must accept the studys findings before the issue is voted on during a general election. Final approval of the bus routes must come from the areas voters, possibly this spring. If approved, the service area residents sales tax is increased three-tenths of one percent.

50 years ago 1956

Several Explorer Scouts from Arlington, with their leader, made an attempt to climb Twin Sisters Mountain (6,923 ft.) in Whatcom County last Saturday, but were forced to give up the attempt within 500 feet of the summit. The climb was made with the Everett Mountaineers, who were making their regularly scheduled climb. Those from here were Bob Cox, Robert Rylie and Ed Stuller, assistant advisor and Explorer Scouts. The group left Arlington about 4:30 a.m., but found this time not early enough as they lacked about two hours of climbing time to make the summit. The last few miles of the return trip was made by flashlight. The weather proved ideal for the trip, and the group enjoyed some fine scenery, Mt. Baker being blanketed with a coating of new snow. The clear skies permitted a fine view of Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. The ascent was from the west side via the Thunder Mountain Mine trail. The climb was led by Jack Sturgeon of Arlington.

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