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Lakewood approves catastrophic warehouse development in Springbrook

Springbrook, HiroshimaThe permits for the speculative warehouse project on 123rd Street in Springbrook were issued today – almost nine acres of warehouses and parking lots will be built.

All the trees on the property will be cut down. That’s 114 Garry oaks and about 40 other trees.

This property contains “critical areas”, which are supposed to be protected. According to the Growth Management Act, there should be NO NET LOSS of critical areas.

In Lakewood, no matter how “critical” an area is, it can virtually always be cut down – as long as someone has the money to pay for it. (The exceptions are for example along shorelines and on steep slopes.) This developer will pay approximately $417,000 to cut all these trees down. They were “critical” — but apparently not “critical” enough.

But the loss of this critical area, with its 114 large Garry oak trees, cannot be mitigated.

That’s not just my personal opinion — that’s what a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife habitat biologist told me. That’s obvious to everyone — except the City of Lakewood. There is no mitigating for that kind of loss of habitat and function.

But gotta keep the developers happy. “Bulldozing barriers,” as the City’s catchy slogan said.

The special native Garry oaks are nothing more than a barrier to these people. Cut ’em down, mill up ’em, make a buck! Who cares if they’re “critical”! That’s just some bull—- some scientists made up anyway.

You can’t replace what these trees give us and the creatures who inhabit them: oxygen, habitat, cleaner air, cooling in the summer, reduction of the urban heat island effect, carbon sequestration, psychological benefits, increased safety, infiltration of water run-off, and of course the beauty and solace that the oaks provide.

The valuable gifts that the oaks give us have no price, cannot be replaced, and yet are being stolen from us by a city who cares only about developers.

Why don’t they have them redevelop properties that have already been turned into concrete wastelands? There are plenty of those. Just look around Lakewood. There are even warehouses that have stood empty for years already (like on 84th). Fill those first!

Even their showcase “Colonial Plaza” is surrounded by a formerly upscale shopping center, now long derelict under their protective wing. That QFC has been closed since April 2010.

The “Director” has “discretion” regarding the fate of trees, according to the municipal code, but somehow it is always the developers who come out on top.

Gotta keep ’em happy. Who cares if they’re allowing entire swathes of critical areas and residential neighborhoods to be destroyed in order to do that.

Look at the complete devastation in Woodbrook, and at the Oakwood school property in Sylvan Park. Now they’re doing the same thing to Springbrook.

Remember, leaders of Lakewood — once you let it get wrecked, it is wrecked forever. You can never get it back.

And you’re the ones who have allowed this to happen.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Shawna Zimmerman June 6, 2022, 7:20 pm

    We don’t need this warehouse in Springbrook u are going to destroy what Mother earth gave us to view. Also u will be destroying what we as a community have built Springbrook to look like. This is not a good idea.

    • James Dunlop June 7, 2022, 4:59 pm


      Thanks for the comment, and I certainly agree that this warehouse is not needed. And it is definitely not desirable. It doesn’t help that none of the City Council live in Springbrook. The development won’t impact their lives, why should they care?

  • Debbie Severe June 17, 2022, 6:42 am

    Another warehouse to sit empty, just like the one that took the place of the Starlight Drive-in and the swap-meet! Now this glorious warehouse site sits empty with no tenants! Why does Lakewood need more warehouse space? Save our trees for another generation. They are getting fewer and harder to find! As the 60s song went, “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot!”

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