This is an abbreviated version of a letter sent to the Snoqualmie
In response to your request for further public comment on the
proposed Falls Crossing development, I would like to bring a few of my concerns
to your attention. But first, let me qualify myself for these issues.
My professional career has been dominated by advocacy for good,
responsive design, both public and private. Positions I have held include
the Manager of the Pioneer Square Historic District, Seattle’s first City
Conservator and Director of the Office of Urban Conservation,
Washington State Historic Preservation Officer, first Washington State
Conservator, and Executive Director of the Washington State Advisory Council on
Historic Preservation. I have been a preservation and land use consultant
for over 20 years.
With this background and current interest, I have reviewed the
Falls Crossing proposal and find it wholly inadequate in the area of historical
and cultural resources. It is superficial, nonchalant and overall inaccurate.
Further, there is no mention of the “new information” regarding the
recent _ and overdue _ federal recognition of the Snoqualmie Tribe and
their new status within our community. The Tribe has consistently spoken of
the great significance this site has to the their cultural origins. This site is
their Jerusalem. Their Athens. Their Washington, D.C. Their beginning.
And now, by federal directive, we are required to recognize them and
respect their cultural sites. We must not take this lightly.
The proposal completely ignores these new happenings and, insult
to injury, addresses only the careful removal of artifacts uncovered
during construction. Shame on you, proponents. And shame on anyone
who thinks this is appropriate. This property is holy ground, connected to
an ancient culture that still maintains its identity and presence in our
community. The site needs to be professionally surveyed, test pits
dug, physiographically mapped, documented and then, as an
unmentioned “reasonable alternative,” purchased
for perpetual preservation. No development must be allowed to degrade
The responsible thing to do is to follow the city of Snoqualmie’s
earlier decision to acquire the Snoqualmie Point property, which reversed
the Comprehensive Plan designation from Economic Development to
Open Space. The city, in conjunction with other funding partners, should be
maneuvering to purchase this property which has equal national
viewshed characteristics to the Point property, but a profoundly greater element
of cultural significance and preservation.
Please do the right thing. Deny this application on the grounds that it
is inadequate and purposely avoids providing pertinent, pivotal
information and alternatives required by SEPA, federal and local legislation, to
say nothing of the lack of respect it exhibits for our native neighbor’s
I look forward to your difficult decision that will put this
proposal where it belongs, on the shelf.