Oakwood school / 85th Street S / oak tragedy

Please contact us about the former OAKWOOD school on 85th Street South here.

There are 80+ Garry oaks on the former Oakwood Elementary School property, which people now use as a park for strolling, and taking children and dogs for walks. Every single tree is slated to be destroyed for another warehouse. The largest oak we measured there had a 46" diameter at breast height (DBH). (A 250 year old oak can be 27" DBH.)

A just 6" Garry oak qualifies as a "significant tree" in Lakewood — but this does not save it from destruction. As I was told by a planning office worker last week, Garry oaks effectively have no protections in Lakewood.

We will be commenting on this tragedy — and others — at the city council meeting next Monday, 2 August at 7 p.m. Please come join us.

Read more below the photos.

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See official documents at the bottom of this page related to this warehouse development.

The school district sold it, and now the company that bought it is getting the permits from the city to build a 100,000+ sq ft warehouse — when just a block to the north on 84th Street South is the empty, new 135,000 sq ft warehouse that was built where our beloved flea market and Starlite drive-in cinema stood.

The "developer" plans to keep NONE of the 80 or so trees, even though there are more than 2 acres of Garry oaks there (and the minimum is 1 acre to qualify as priority habitat, or even less in "urban or urbanizing" settings).

The older Korean woman and young Hispanic family with whom we spoke heard from me today the first time that a warehouse was going to be built there, and all the trees destroyed.

The Korean woman told me in very limited English — "no warehouse, all people here want no warehouse [gesticulting, pointing to all the surrounding residences around the huge area of the former school], you tell city, no warehouse, it is nice here, trees, beautiful, no warehouse".

She looked completely shocked and I felt terrible for her. She lives in an apartment across the street, and I can imagine that she goes for a walk there every day.

It is a residential neighborhood — how could the city of Lakewood do such an awful thing? Not only to the trees, but to the people who live there? In houses and apartments? Koreans and Hispanics? No one I spoke to knew what was going to happen. Most could barely understand English. How can this be allowed?

The warehouse project is in a densely residential area, with both houses and apartments. How dare the city destroy the quality of life for all these many people, old and young? Many and probably even most of them from communities of ethnic minorities?

Clearly, no one asked these people's opinion, much less their permission to make a warehouse next to their homes.

How many "warehouse districts" does Lakewood need? Let us enumerate them. We already have, just as examples:

  • the major warehouse compex on 100th Street SW, near Lowe's,
  • the devastated Woodbrook with the 800,000+ sq ft Amazon warehouse and Tesla warehouse, plus several others and more in the works, - - - the warehouse at the former flea market site on 84th Street S, where the 135,000 sq ft warehouse is standing VACANT, with locked gates and "FOR LEASE" signs that have been on it for perhaps a year? Or more?
  • and of course the Springbrook neighborhood, which the city council thoughtfully rezoned to industrial last year during the pandemic.

Why don't they put a nice warehouse on Lake Steilacoom instead? Or maybe drain Lakewood's only artificial lake and squeeze a few more warehouses there?

To the City of Lakewood: We entrusted you with our city, the city where we live, to make it a better place — not to destroy it before our very eyes, selling out to any eager warehouse developer who shows up with cash in hand.

Stop immediately this insane and cruel destruction of our city, our environment and our quality of life.

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201903350 ECY Comments.pdf (143 KB)

LU-19-00112 - CHECKLIST.pdf (286 KB)

LU-19-00112 - FISH & WILDLIFE ASSESSMENT.pdf (3 MB)

LU-19-00112 - GEOTECHNICAL REPORT.pdf (2 MB)

LU-19-00112 - OPERATIONAL CHAR.pdf (63 KB)

LU-19-00112 - SITE PLAN.pdf (506 KB)

LU1900112 Coleman American Moving Services SEPA NOA.pdf (91 KB)

LU1900112 Coleman American Moving Services Transmittal- .pdf (174 KB)


Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 9:50:24 PM