Don't extend South First Street
September 27, 2023
Dear town council, planning commission - and citizens:
It has been mentioned on the council and planning commission recently that it would be a great idea (said they) to have all the traffic thru town exit on First Street along the water next to the blue building that would be removed for this to occur. They also keep toying with a one way First Street.
This idea ignores some important realities: primarily, the Shoreline Master Plan. That land next to old blue (derelict blue building) and which is along the water does indeed partially belong to the town. But 200 feet of property along the water is regulated by the Shoreline Master Plan.
The shoreline plan promotes public access and water related or dependent uses. The state regulates it, not us. It does not mean a highway out of town. It means walking and biking and viewing and water experiences. We will never get more waterfront.
And then there are the parts of that plan that just don’t make sense. We have an enormous parking lot that this new road would bypass.
I hope that someday that transitional zone will be developed for housing for workforce families along with some work opportunities there for them – as dreamed of when that zone was created. And I hope that someday the street that was vacated long ago in the back of Maple Hall will become an entrance to that dreamed of mixed use area. At the moment, that vacated street is used for south-end walkers who use it to reach the town center. (These same walkers used to walk on the water side the derelict blue building until the town fenced it off.)
Making South First Street a way out of town would create an island of the transition zone and defeat the goal of waterfront access from the Port’s La Conner Marina to Conner Park. Please don’t mess with this jewel of a goal.
Historic towns all over the world have solved the broken mirrors problem in simpler ways.