Letter--Whidbey Island slide could happen in Burien

Unfortunately, the landslide that caused widespread destruction near Coupeville may soon be repeated in Burien if the Westmark Emerald Pointe project continues to move forward.

Westmark recently obtained from the city of Burien a permit to clear ALL but 8 significant trees from 9.62 acres of steeply sloped terrain directly above the Highline School District Puget Sound Skills Center, the Environmental Science Center and its fish hatchery and wetlands at the north end of Seahurst Park.

With hundreds of trees removed and less than 1 significant tree per acre, what will be left is sparse unprotected slopes unable to absorb rainwater and run off. This land in question is clearly marked as landslide area on the City of Burien's own Critical Areas map (http://www.burienwa.gov/?nid=717).

Every year slides occur on or within close proximity of the land in question. In the recent past there has been the Maplewild Avenue Slide, Cove Point Road Slide, Goat Hill Slide, and multiple Three Tree Point Slides. It is the structural and environmental soundness of the Westmark Emerald Pointe project that continues to concern citizens.

Neighbors of Seahurst Park, an all-volunteer citizens group dedicated to protecting Seahurst Park, has filed a Land Use Petition trying to stop Westmark from clearing these 9.62 beautiful forested acres, which if allowed to proceed will set in motion the potential for landslides like the recent catastrophic Whidbey Island slide.

For more information about what you can do visit http://www.seahurstfriends.org/ or email melessarogers@yahoo.com.

Melessa Rogers
Neighbors of Seahurst Park

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