Bothell’s Sunrise/Valley View neighborhood stands in opposition with the University of Washington Bothell administration over the intended building of a 600 bed dorm, dining facilities and parking within 30-60 feet of our established neighborhood, some 20-plus single-family homes. The future site of the dorm is currently proposed in and by two previously designated wetland areas which includes a small forest of 200 foot fir trees, which we feel are crucial to our neighborhood’s property values, as well as overall livability. We are also concerned about the obvious threat of constant noise, lights and garbage/pickup; as well as all-night parties, etc. that comes with student life as it spills into our neighborhood – 30 feet away.
UW Bothell was originally intended as a commuter campus, along with other satellite campuses around the state. The Bothell campus grew faster than originally planned, then snowballed into a four-year university. Then student housing was needed, now more student housing and more… This is in direct opposition to the UWB’s original commitment to its neighbors not to build in the Uplands, and in fact, its commitment to enhance that area because of its impressive forest ambiance, because it adds a necessary ecological component, and because of the impressive silhouette of the Bothell ridgeline from I-405.
Then, along with the UW Bothell requesting radical re-zoning, we came to understand as of Saturday, that the UW Bothell is currently making inquiries about buying other properties at the top of Kaysner, Main Street and along Beardslee Boulevard. There is the possibility of more dorm buildings on our north side, only 30 feet from homes. Our community would then be surrounded by UW on three sides. They have stated at Bothell City Council meetings that they have other alternative sites for dorms (acceptable to us) but they have denied having drawn up actual plans for the Uplands sites. However, as of Thursday’s meeting with Vice Chancellor Ana Karaman, our resident representative saw actual dorm plans for the Uplands site and we understand they have already been approved by the regents.
Our neighborhood planned a protest, and have been speaking out, writing articles, contacting our representatives, state senators, Bothell businesses and are staging a ‘protest art show,’ (at Lyon’s Den Coffeehouse, Bothell). We cancelled the protest at the last moment when UW Bothell Vice Chancellor agreed to a meeting with one resident of our neighborhood. In response to the UW Bothell administrator’s invitation and sincerely stated words, “We hear you and we care,” the neighborhood put off plans to hold the protest march.
We look forward to working with UW Bothell, Bothell City Council members and the planning department to reach a more equitable result. We also have protest signs at the ready.
Jannelle Loewen, Bothell