This letter is of pure outrage. See if you don't feel the same when you're done reading it.
At the very last meeting of the previous council members, there was a vote taken to vacate 4th Street North. My stomach churned when I read those words. I waited to see what was up, and there it is at city hall, the paperwork. The plans are to build over 80 units on 4th Street North. The council gave a developer the street, and his plans are on file.
Now, understand I'm not mad at Mr. Baker the developer, he has done nothing wrong or illegal. He keeps going to the city council and they keep giving him most of his requests. But, the end of 4th Street North, come on! Not a year early, Mr. Baker asked for the end of 5th Street North and the council said, "No, we don't give street ends away." Now not a year later they hand him 4th Street North including the end. I know Mr. Baker owned the north side of 4th Street North and the south side of 5th Street North already, but with this new property adding on to what he already had, he is planning 16 more units to go along side the two that he has already out in the dunes, (remember he sold each of those for close to a half a million dollars each) and then 60 plus, three-story units down 4th Street North with parking. We won't even go into the issue of wetlands here ... or how much land fill will have to be bought in ...
What did Mr. Baker have to give for this prime property? He had to agree to put the street in and all utilities, and a gravel walkway for people to get to the beach. This is high end, premium, ocean front view land and it was given away. What would the market value on this have been? If the city wanted it gone, couldn't they have put it on the market and sold to the highest bidder? Couldn't the city coffers have used several hundred thousand dollars in it?
I'm outraged - does anyone else feel the bile coming up in their throats? My understanding is that the streets belong to the people, and the city only manages them. The street ends are ours, the people, you don't ever give them away, even if they aren't developed. We still can walk out on them and that's the way they should stay. I am asking that all the officials of the city, and the present city council, put forth an amendment that this type of thing never happens again. It is a pure and simple example of the council overreaching itself. And please don't give me that holier-than-thou explanation that this will be good for the city's economy, and we simple citizens don't realize it ...
I am willing to put my name to this, and I hope others will write with their thoughts too. A full time, saddened-to-see-what-is-happening to Long Beach Washington, resident.