Additional Thoughts (Feb 17, 2019) – Lockwood and the Gelman Plume

Feb 17, 2019 | City Council

The following was originally published in my Feb 17, 2019 Newsletter in the “Additional Thoughts” section

Additional thoughts…

On one of the snowier days this past week, I visited the location proposed for the Lockwood development, at the invitation of a neighboring resident.  I imagine that most of us on this side of town regularly drive past this property on Jackson Road (across the road and just west of Webers).  The proposed PUD would change current zoning (single family) to create a senior-living facility at a location overlooking Dolph Park and the First Sister Lake.  There is significant neighborhood opposition to this project.  Residents from across the city have reached out to me to express support for increased housing supply, generally, and support for this project, specifically, because it would provide housing for older residents.   

I appreciate that there are city-wide benefits to adding to our housing supply (and for older residents, especially), but a decision like this one— which requires a change in zoning— must be considered in local context.  Some of the highest levels of dioxane from the Gelman Plume have been detected in this exact location; there are monitoring wells on the property.  It is on a slope, above wetlands around First Sister Lake in Dolph Park.  Rain and snowmelt runoff from this commercial development will almost certainly flow into one of our city’s only natural lakes.  The project will serve over-55 and independent older residents (not assisted living or skilled care), yet the developers provide capacity for less than one-third of their tenants to own cars.  Crucially for the future residents of this facility: the location is not highly accessible in terms of either walkability or public transit.  For these reasons, I do not plan to support the Lockwood development.