LAKE STEVENS, Wash. — Besides the long, sometimes crowded commute through the trestle, many people would agree that, in the end, Lake Stevens is worth the drive.
Thursday evening, the small-town community weighed in on a plan to expand the number of homes in the area.
It’s a plan, city leaders say, that’s been in the works for about 10 years, and the community isn’t too happy about it.
“Small-town charm, close to work, the lake,” Vince Krajicek said, citing the reasons he moved to Lake Stevens. “Close to the mountains.”
For Krajicek, it’s plain and simple: Lake Stevens is home, and he believes his home may soon be changing.
“It was never meant to be this big here,” said Krajicek. “Now it’s going to be just like going to any other town. It’s not a small town any more.”
Krajicek, along with dozens of other frustrated neighbors, took to City Hall Thursday evening to voice their concerns about a new development off of State Route 92 and Callow Road.
"We didn't even hear from the city," said resident Andrea Wright. "We heard from a local citizen who came to our neighborhood, who let us know this was happening."
City leaders said the 72-acre, 288-unit housing development was on the back-burner for about a decade, but now is moving forward.
"It kind of came out of nowhere to the public, when the owners of this project were at a place right now where they could move forward on this development," said Russ Wright, director of Community Development for the city of Lake Stevens.
Wright said he understands the community's concerns here, especially when it comes to the traffic in and out of the area.
"There's concerns about the traffic impact so we, as the city, want to go back and address these issues with the developer."
In the end, though, the director believes this project will benefit the city's growing population, despite the traffic on the trestle.
However, neighbors are not thrilled about going from a small town to a big-city feel.
"It's taking away the reason I moved to Lake Stevens," said Krajicek.
So Krajicek said he hopes city leaders take note.
"I hope when they start letting people build these houses and developments, they make them set aside money for schools, for road development, for parks," said Krajicek
"We know the area is going to be developed. We're not anti-development, but we're concerned about the scope and the magnitude in such a small space," said Wright.
City leaders told Q13 News they will take what they heard from the community and share that with the developer before they approve and start the project. They plan on doing that sometime next week.