The Clems...Our story:
My wife, Karen, and I bought 2 1/4 ac in Zone 1 of the Fitzgerald Subarea in
1982. At the time we were not incorporated into the city of Bothell and that was
fine with us. We built a large home and raised our 2 children. It is a wonderful
location and we have never, in 34 years, regretted moving out here.
Several years ago, for better or for worse, we were annexed into the city of
Bothell. Along the way we purchased an additional 3 ac that borders our original
property. Time went by, the children were married, and both of us were retired
by 2006. The prospect of selling became a real goal because we always looked
at the house and property as an investment. It was also around this timeframe
that other neighbors and property owners were entertaining the same thoughts
that we were. The idea of developing the properties really took hold and we and
others have now been trying to sell to developers for 10 years (the Berry's much
When the LID was slapped on the subarea, everything changed for the worse.
Developers who were initially interested melted away over uncertainties,
unfamiliar language and onerous environmental requirements. Our dream of selling
to a developer came to a screeching halt.
Finally, after a few of us spoke up (complained) to the city that the
"experiment" wasn't working, they changed it to where developers were again
showing interest. One company spent a considerable amount of money conducting
tree counts and digging pit tests to check for any significant ground flow of
water (there was none found). Unfortunately, the environmentalists challenged
the change and won so the LID reverted back to the heavy-handed, original
Once again we spoke up....to the (new) city council this time. To their credit,
they are currently trying to devise ways to make the property issue equitable
for us. One of which is a city-funded study based on best available science.
To me, this is an admission that the LID was a bad idea, especially for those of
us in Zone 1, and the fact that Zone 1 is unlike the other zones in the subarea,
and, therefore, should be treated differently, i.e., removal or a lessening of
the current language and requirements of the LID. Keep in mind that Zone 1, of
the other zones, is the furthest distance away from North Creek, an oft-quoted
salmon spawning stream that is key when talking "development".
In our 34 years on our property, we have never seen any ground water, pooling of
water, or open, flowing streams. We remain convinced that we have been caught in
an environmental trap that must be sprung open with the help of best available
science and a healthy dose of common sense.
Terry and Karen Clem