Three things strike me after reading this article (“Housing proposal has neighborhood worried,” Renton Reporter, Feb. 21, 2014), beside the environmental considerations.
The first is covered in the other feature article, “Renton schools to need 42 additional classrooms.” The neighborhood already feels the impact of full schools. Neighbors have told me that schools have portables out but are maxed. If 98 new homes are added to Tiffany Park, with the average family of parents and two children, that’s an influx of 196 children. How will the district deal with this? Will some children have to be bused out of the neighborhood? I faced that same situation when my daughter was starting school on Renton Hill. She would have ridden the bus an hour and a half each way to get to a school outside our neighborhood.
The second thing is that there’s been a big study done for the Benson Hill redevelopment with emphasis on parks and trails. This woods has been used as a park by residents for many years. How did that go undiscovered in the community outreach for the Benson redevelopment plan? And why not include the land in Renton’s park and trail system as part of the Benson Hill redevelopment proposal?
Third is traffic, and impacting existing homeowner rights. The middle-income residents of 18th Street have been told that they may lose the right to park in front of their own homes. This is because 18th, the main exit for the new development, is narrow. Homeowners on one side will not only face tripled street traffic, they may not be able to use street parking.
I think it’s unfair that existing 20-year residents should be less considered than those moving into high-dollar new homes.