Development agreement approvals raise questions

Question: How do we best control growth and create neighborhoods we all want to live in?

I have a lot of heartburn over the City of Washougal approving three development agreements together one month before the county’s LID (Low Impact Development) standards go into effect. Both the Marlin Development and North Twenty proposed to use LID Stormwater Aesthetics, what does that mean? The county has a full description of what LID is at this website:

I lived along Shepherd and 10th roads in Washougal, where storm water would percolate out of my neighbor’s driveway and down the street in the winter. Many of the homes had flooding in crawl spaces. I’ve seen water running down the streets from hillsides in many neighborhoods in the city.

Seems to me a lot of developers shortcut storm water management and leave it up to the unsuspecting home buyer to deal with. This is simply wrong and should be fixed. Much of the land scheduled for development is farmland. The hay helps absorb and take in water and filter out sediment and nutrients. The developments will create runoff that could affect water quality in the Lacamas watershed.

I read the Washougal’s traffic study report performed by Global Transportation Engineering Memorandum on Nov. 17. It included traffic counts on a Tuesday and Thursday, during peak hours in September.

The report researched reported accidents along the corridors for the years 2013-2015. I noticed that there were zero accidents along Crown Road at the intersection of 23rd. I personally know of two accidents in that intersection.

The traffic study does not take in the fact that the Hills at Round Lake is not built out and will add vehicles as well. I also question whether there was a cumulative traffic study performed on Crown Road and Third Avenue through downtown Camas. All three developments will create 471 homes. The Washington State Transportation Commission estimates 2.1 drivers per household and 2.3 vehicles, so that would calculate to 989 drivers and 1,083 vehicles. The likely route to SR-14 is through downtown Camas. How will that not affect an already crowded route?

The North Twenty Development is proposing 3,000-square-foot lots. Where do you park a car or breathe in that close proximity with your neighbors? This neighborhood would be surrounded by 5 acre and larger parcels. Why would you create a high density community in the middle of farmland? Why wouldn’t you put it along bus routes, near services that you could walk to? Perhaps downtown Washougal would be a better location for high density living.

I know I am not alone when expressing the concerns. I have decided to organize a group of concerned citizens to increase awareness of these projects and their full impact. This will give us an opportunity to look at these projects in more detail and share our findings with the city. The group will be called Friends of Crown Road because I feel the greatest impact on these development will be the Crown Road corridor and its multi-jurisdictional ownership by Clark County and the City of Camas, and soon Washougal.

Ken Navidi is a Camas resident and business owner.