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Today's dig 
11th-Dec-2008 10:14 pm
Lake Forest Park

Which is it?

A park associated with Lake Forest?
Or with the lake forest (i.e., "lake" disambiguating one of several forests)?
Or maybe there's a forested park that happens to have a lake named for it?
Or "park" disambiguates a particular forest and the lake is named for that?
Or "park" is disambiguating between several lake forests? or forest lakes?

Never mind that the actual entity in question is neither a lake, nor a forest, nor a park, but rather a city (*).

This has been driving me batshit.

(New rule: Maximum of one (1) noun in place names. Yes, I know, being able to use two nouns is occasionally useful, but you've now abused that privilege; too bad).

(*) which is to say "city" in that stupid Western sense where anything that has any sort of local government at all qualifies even if the only inhabitants are a dog and two cactuses, but don't get me started on that...
12th-Dec-2008 07:08 am (UTC)
I've wondered that, too.
12th-Dec-2008 01:21 pm (UTC)
Should I get you started on things like "Lake Lagunita" next?
12th-Dec-2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
and El Camino Place and Alameda Blvd and ... no.

Edited at 2008-12-14 04:53 am (UTC)
12th-Dec-2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
LFP was built as a planned community during a period that idealized human life as a city in a park. A lot of the planned communities of that era were called "parks." These communities were universally dependent on cars, and had no definable urban center. They tended to be all-white by design.

So given the "city in a park" ideal, that noun was a given. "Lake" actually makes some sense, as the city borders Lake Washington. "Forest" refers to the fact that the area was nice and wooded before the development went in and the residents liked to think that their park-like lifestyle was somehow preserving that forest.

Really, you can think of it as a historical monument to failed suburban planning.

Edited at 2008-12-12 05:29 pm (UTC)
12th-Dec-2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
Sort of like what they're doing in Bothell right now. Good GOD, WTF?
12th-Dec-2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
The really bad development in Bothell tends to be in the unincorporated areas in Snohomish County that only use Bothell as a mailing address. There's also some bad developments that are part of recent annexations that would not have been approved with the city regulations in place at the time. Bothell proper has fairly decent regulations, and is even planning for walkable, dense development in the so-called "downtown" area that is just southeast of our house. Of course, there are some dinosaurs on the local planning board who are trying to blunt that plan and make it more "Bothell-like"; i.e., repeating the mistakes of the 50s-90s. I actually watch the city government TV programming from time to time and there's one woman in particular who drives me batty with that kind of thinking.
12th-Dec-2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
There's, what... one block of "downtown Bothell" and then a whole bunch of strip malls continuing down 522? And WTF are they doing to 522 further down? I was trying to get to P's cousin's house in Kenmore and THERE ARE NO ROAD SIGNS. 73rd? You're going to have to guess. Oh, and good luck getting the numbers off the buildings on the side of the road while trying not to get hit by that prick in the giant SUV.

Kenmore and Bothell: The Lake Stevens and Snohomish of King County.
12th-Dec-2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
Realistically speaking, "downtown" Bothell is about two-three blocks long on Main Street, and the intersecting side streets for those blocks. Everything from the big intersection with 527 and 522 and Main to 102nd, and then everything from 522 to 185th.

The downtown planning zone, however, goes from Wayne Curve to 405 on 522, and north of the Sammamish River to Pop Keeney Stadium. The plan is to extend the downtown-style development throughout much of the planning zone, but particularly along a realigned 185th west of 527 and up 527 to Cafe Ladro as a multiway boulevard. Top heights in the core are 5 stories, with ground-level retail storefronts. The whole bus barn school district property will be dense housing--condos and apartments, with more ground-level retail. This all assumes that the current recession/depression doesn't freeze retail development for several years, in which case this plan will still happen but a few years down the road. As far as I can tell, the goal is to look something like the built-up areas of Redmond (as opposed to the strip mall parts that predominate.)

ETA: This is what the city propaganda says it will look like:

522 is a problem, because it's a major state highway. A lot of the construction there is adding transit lanes and there are plans to make the sidewalks better, but the strip mall aspect is going to be there for a while. Downtown Kenmore does have a plan to develop a downtown for the first time ever, though the recession has put those plans on hold for a while.

Edited at 2008-12-12 07:14 pm (UTC)
12th-Dec-2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
To see what a drastic change this would be, here's a Google Maps satellite view of what that same area looks like now:

12th-Dec-2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out how that painting is supposed to be oriented.

(the other thing I'm trying to figure out is how the hell did Bothell get to be in 2 counties? Auburn, Pacific and Coulee Dam are the only other places in the state that do this (CD is kind of a special case, but I'm not really seeing how it could have happened for the other 3; it's not like the county boundaries have ever been that fluid...))
13th-Dec-2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
Ah, I have answers to your questions.

The drawing is oriented with north pointing to the upper left. The big tree-lined boulevard in the middle of the drawing is 527. The stadium at top left is also roughly at the top left of the Google maps picture. The street east of 527 is 101st. I cropped the map to include as far as 104th, but the drawing only goes most of the way to 102nd. 98th is visible to the west of 527. The road on the far side of the stadium where 527 bends is 188th.

One reason it's hard to make the correspondence is that 522 is planned to realign southward straightening out the bend at downtown. (It will, unfortunately, run almost exactly through where Tandoori Fire is now.) Main and 185th will both be continued on the western side of 527. The other reason is that the west side of 527 will be completely redeveloped. The stadium is one of the only familiar features to be retained, and in the drawing it's improved.

As for why Bothell sprawls all over two counties, it comes down to the Growth Management Act. County government encouraged unrestrained development, so the GMA called for incorporation of all urban and suburban areas into new or existing "cities" that could then provide services and regulations. When the GMA went into effect in the late 80s and early 90s, Bothell was the only legal "city" in the area. Kenmore and Woodinville were unicorporated. The closest other cities (off the top of my head; it's possible the first two were not incorporated) were Lake Forest Park to the west, Mill Creek to the north, Kirkland to the south, and Duvall to the east. Bothell planned to take pretty much everything it could. This eventually led to the incorporation of places like Kenmore and Woodinville and Brier that did not want to become part of a behemoth Bothell. All cities in the area continue to have planned annexation areas for the few bits of unincorporated "urban" King and Snohomish County that still remain.
13th-Dec-2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
Hmm, although looking at the annexation map there is one small part of Snohomish County that was annexed to Bothell as early as 1980 and another in 1984 (most other SnoCo annexations were from 1989-1993, with almost all of it in 1992). Still, with no other incorporated cities nearby, joining with Bothell was their only alternative if residents wanted improved services.
13th-Dec-2008 06:32 pm (UTC)
Ah, and by the power of Wikipedia I just figured out the final piece of the puzzle. One reason Bothell was positioned to sprawl across counties was its location within a mile of the county border. That border was established back in 1852 when Island County (from which SnoCo was later formed) and King County were split from Thurston County. At that time there were no known settlers in the Bothell area. Indeed, the Denny Party had only arrived in Seattle the previous year. Arthur Denny was the one who drew up the county borders with his own settlement at its center. Bothell ended up at the county border by sheer accident of geography.

Bothell was settled at its location because it was conveniently located at a bend on the river that was useful for creating landings for moving logs, and it was just upstream from a village that provided the native laborers who were originally used by Henry Yesler when there wasn't yet a large immigrant labor force.

It wasn't until the development of cars that the former farmland north of the King County border (and on top of the hills ringing Bothell proper) became developed, but by then Bothell was well-established and it was only a matter of time before it expanded into those areas.
13th-Dec-2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
I guess my question is not so much why there's sprawl, but rather why Bothell and only Bothell was allowed to cross the county line, which seems like it would be a major hassle for the city/county governments involved -- otherwise it would be happening in a whole lot of other places (cf, Shoreline and Edmonds, Federal Way and Tacoma, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee, tri-cities) -- vs. either organizing a new city which wouldn't have been that big a deal given the amount of incorporateable land available in the late 80s or just telling everyone to join Mill Creek.
14th-Dec-2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
I think that because Mill Creek like LFP was a planned community, they had no desire to expand. I don't think the state really coordinates this--it's up to the counties. I also get the impression that Snohomish County dragged its heels on the GMA at first. Bothell was closer and acted more quickly than any other real or potential municipality.

The cores of Edmonds and Shoreline are both much farther from the county line than Bothell's core (about two miles each instead of a mile). Federal Way's core is more like four miles from the county line, while parts of the port of Tacoma are only about a mile from the line. So in all those cases, it made much more sense for the border areas to stay incorporated with the larger population centers on the same side of the county line. (ETA: Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, and the Tri-Cities all evolved as separate municipalities before the GMA, unlike the SnoCo parts of Bothell which were unincorporated until the 1980s.) I really think Bothell's case is just an accident of geography.

One other thing--incorporated areas get most of their services from the incorporated city and not the county, so the split status is not really that confusing. Areas where the county still retains some influence in cities include things like water and sewer. But again accidents of geography make that not so much of a deal. The county line almost coincides with the division between the Lake Washington watershed and the Snohomish watershed, so figuring out jurisdiction is not as difficult as you might think. The new sewage plant with a pipeline that crosses counties has been contentious, but that's a case where the counties are the relevant government entities and the cross-county status of Bothell is irrelevant.

And clearly I've thought about these issues far too much.

Edited at 2008-12-14 08:54 pm (UTC)
14th-Dec-2008 08:48 pm (UTC)
Also, in today's news, apparently the downtown Bothell project is still going forward full-steam despite the recession.
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