City of Edgewood Magazine

S P R I N G 202 1


WORTH MENTIONING This is Something Else to Read | 1

EDGEWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT SHREDDING & DRUG TAKE-BACK EVENT NORTHWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL • 9805 24th Street E, Edgewood Saturday, April 24, 2021 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

DRUG TAKE-BACK Take an important step in preventing prescription drug abuse by bringing your unwanted or expired medications for safe disposal. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Acceptable: Prescription & over-the-counter capsules, pills, liquids & inhalers (Liquids in original container with tightfitting lid.) Not Acceptable: Syringes, injectables, inhalers, medical waste, chemo meds, vaping devices with batteries

SHREDDING City of Edgewood residents are encouraged to bring any type of documents containing personal or sensitive information to be professionally shredded on-site until 1:00pm or the trucks are fully loaded, whichever comes first. MAXIMUM OF 3 GROCERY SIZE BAGS FULL PER HOUSEHOLD OR BUSINESS.

US FLAGS Scout Troop 525 will be collecting faded and worn US flags for proper and respectful disposal. (Please, no flag poles.)

While this is a FREE event, please consider donating to this hardworking troop.





CITY HALL Council and Staff.................... 4 Council Highlights ................ 6 What’s Going On At City Hall........................... 6 How We Managed 2020 - In a Nutshell ........................ 7 Edgewood Cuts lnterest In Half ................................. 7 MAYOR’S LETTER 2021 State of the City............ 5 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT The Heart of Edgewood . ...... 8 Edgewood GIS: Layer Groups Put Organized Data at Your Fingertips.................. 10 Edgewood’s Wetlands What’s In The Code ........... 11 POLICE Hello Edgewood from Chief Berry........................ 12 CODE CONNECTION Did You Know?..................... 13 PUBLIC WORKS Are You Ready for Spring..... 14 WORTH MENTIONING Farewell and FORE! . ........... 14 This is Something Else to Read. ............................. 15

Spring brings with it the abundance of new life on the Pazaruski farm PHOTO CREDIT: Jennifer Pazaruski

Who Do I Contact? BURNING QUESTIONS? • East Pierce Fire and Rescue 253-863-1800 WATER ISSUES? • Milton Water 253-922-8738 • Mt. View-Edgewood Water Company 253-863-7348 OTHER LOCAL UTILITIES: Electric and Gas Services • Puget Sound Energy 1-888-225-5773 Report street light outages: report-street-light-outage Phone and Cable • AT&T 1-877-824-2288 • Centurylink 1-800-244-1111 • Comcast/Xfinity 1-800-COMCAST (266-2278) Recycling & Yard Waste, Garbage • Murrey’s American Disposal 253-414-0347 Sewer • Lakehaven Utility District 253-927-2922 • City of Fife 253-922-2489

Edgewood Magazine is published by the City of Edgewood EDGEWOOD CITY HALL 2224 104th Avenue E Edgewood, WA 98372 CITY HALL MAIN LINE 253-952-3299 • EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jill Schwerzler-Herrera • 253-952-3299 DESIGN & PRODUCTION Rhay Design LLC

HOW ARE WE DOING? The Edgewood Magazine is our way of keeping you up-to-date on projects, progress, and noteworthy events within the City. We want to make sure you are receiving information that is both beneficial and interesting to you. In order to do this, we’d like to hear your comments regarding the content, style, and information covered in the Edgewood Magazine. What would you like to see (or not see) in the upcoming year? Please forward your comments to Communications Coordinator/ Deputy City Clerk Jill Schwerzler-Herrera at 253-952-3299, Mail (2224 104th Avenue East, Edgewood, WA, 98372) or send an e-mail to . Thank you for helping us make the Edgewood Magazine an effective way for the Mayor, City Council, and Staff to communicate with its citizens. | 3


CITY STAFF Administrative Services Rachel Pitzel City Clerk/Human Resources Director Jill Schwerzler-Herrera Communications Coordinator/ Office Manager Brittany Murray Accounting/Administrative Tech Community & Economic Development Darren Groth Community & Economic Development Director John Fairbanks Code Compliance Specialist Emily Arteche Planning Manager Silas Read Associate Planner Evan Hietpas Associate Planner Claire Swearinger Planning Technician James Tumelson Building Official Jeff Werre Combination Building Inspector Cory McVay Building Inspector/Plans Examiner Gene Mehr Building Inspector/Plans Examiner Jamie Curbow Permit Coordinator Finance Dave Gray Assistant City Administrator Stephanie Goff Accounting Manager IT Matthew Ray Deputy City Clerk Jennifer Bartelson Information Technology Director Public Works and Maintenance Jeremy Metzler Public Works Director Aaryn Thompson Maintenance Tech l Ben Whitman


Daryl Eidinger Mayor daryl.eidinger@ Mark Creley Deputy Mayor Position #1 mark.creley@ Ryan Day Position #2

Colleen Wise Position #6 colleen.wise@ John C. West Position #5 jwest@ Nate Lowry Position #7 nate.lowry@ Rosanne Tomyn Position #4 rosanne.tomyn@

Tyron Christopherson Position #3 tyron.christopherson@

CITY HALL MAILING ADDRESS/COMMUNICATION INFORMATION 2224 104th Avenue E Phone: 253-952-3299 Edgewood, WA 98372-1513 Fax: 253-952-3537 Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30–5:00pm Follow the City on their Official Facebook and Twitter accounts:

Visit our website:


Police Chief Mark Berry Sergeant Pat Burke Deputy Dave Shaffer, Community Liaison Deputy Jeff Laeuger, Investigator Deputy Johnny Morales, Traffic Deputy Brent Hooper Deputy Scott Wheeler Deputy Tyson Vea Deputy Travis Calderwood Deputy Brandon Cargill Deputy Bryan Ashmore Deputy Ryan Olivarez Deputy Sergio Madrigal-Mendoza Deputy Brian Johnson Office Assistant, Sandi Phillips

The Police Department can be reached by calling 253-952-0275. If you need to report a crime, or for non-emergency calls, you can also call the Police Communication Center at 253- 798-4721. When you hear the recording, press 1 to connect to Communications Officer. If you would like a copy of a Police Report please call South Sound 911 at 253-798-7441. As always, if it is an emergency situation, call 911.

Maintenance Tech l Chuck Hendricksen City Engineer Joe Blaine Engineering Tech Jeremy Privett Field Supervisor

Follow the Edgewood Police Department on our Facebook and Twitter accounts:

POLICE VOLUNTEERS Al Nyhuis • Barb Nyhuis • Anne Troccoli • Richard Morrison



2021 State of the City

s your Mayor, it is an honor and privilege to present the 2021 State of the City Address. I would like to begin by acknowledging and thanking members of the Edgewood City Council: Deputy Mayor Mark Creley; Councilmembers Nate Lowry, Tyron Chris- topherson, John West, Ryan Day, Rosanne Tomyn, and Colleen Wise.Their support and direction in serving this community is exceptional. Each of you plays a vital part in making Edgewood a better place to live. I also want to thank and recognize our city’s board and commission members for their continued commitment to serve our city and to make a difference in our community. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, you were able to carry on business. Your help is invaluable and appreciated by everyone. Lastly, I want to acknowledge the professionalism and dedication found in our Edgewood City Staff, and their commitment to serve the city as they implement the policies set forth by the council.This has been an exceptional year and your flexibility and willingness to work from home has allowed us to continue serving this community in spite of the circumstances. Highlights of some Team Edgewood accomplishments in 2020 include: • Completely overhauling the permitting process from beginning to end. • Creating a collaborative Development Review Committee (DRC) with multiple disciplines and agencies to ensure all project permitting is in accordance with state and local regulations. • Using SMARTGOV to facilitate 100% electronic applications and an online data dashboard. • Refinancing the Community LID debt, saving 50% per year on interest expense. • Long time Building Official/Inspector Dean Mundy retired, and as building continues to grow we have hired a full time combination building inspector, in his place. • Adding collective bargaining language to our non-union personnel policy for Public Works people to remain a competitive employer. • Replacing our traditional phone system with Microsoft Teams system greatly improving accessibility, remote work capability, collaboration, and use of multi-platform devices, saving $15K year. A

• Launching a new Web site with GIS capabilities. Also initiated See-Click-Fix, and increased public Wi fi. • Even with COVID-19 related issues, Public Works completed 8.25 lane miles of chip seal and upgraded numerous storm water issues. • Permits for single family home starts last year were 138 and we finalized 71. We had 54 multi-family units applied for and 250 unit finals. Total permit applications for 2020 was 240, and 180 finals. • Security improvements on the City Hall Campus include new security cameras, a thermal camera, and panic alarms. • Micah Lundborg, our Police Chief, was promoted within the Pierce County Sheriff ’s Department, and we welcomed Mark Berry as our new Chief, and authorized the addition of another officer to our team. • Several improvements were made at city hall, including updates to HVAC, lighting, our automatic window system, and we remodeled our lobby to better serve customers when we reopen to the public. • We have several Public Works projects at some stage of completion, including a new city park!! • This is just a partial list of the work that has been completed. It has been a very busy year with permitting being up 20% more than the two record years before. Edgewood is growing, and because we have a qualified staff, it has not buried us. That said, we will need to be proactive to be able to continue to meet the future demands of our city. Our staff deserves a big “Thank You” for what they have accomplished in a year that has changed our community, state, and country. Our goal continues to be to deliberately build the city in a manner which fits with the reality that we are one of the fastest growing cities in the state, all while holding on to our roots and our identity. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank the citizens of Edgewood who have embarked on and supported us on this journey. With much gratitude, it continues to be a pleasure to serve you.

Mayor Daryl Eidinger | 5

CITY HALL Decisions AreMade by ThoseWho ShowUp

WHAT’S GOING ON AT CITY HALL? Listed below are locations of posted meetings, notices of adopted ordinances and public hearings. • City Hall information board

We just got past what might have been one of the most vitriolic election cycles in our country’s history. No matter who you voted for, you probably have frayed nerves regarding the events of the past five months. No one would blame you for taking a “pox on both your houses” view of politics. So, what I am about to ask you to do might strike you as crazy, traumatic, or even darkly comical. I want you to consider running for office. Nope, I’m not kidding; I want you to put your name on the ballot this fall. Please, just hear me out. I am not talking about running for national office, or even Congress.There is a better, and arguably more effective way to serve and improve your community. Consider running

• www. • Electronic Reader Board • Facebook and Twitter

• All notices of adopted ordinances and public hearings are posted in the Tacoma News Tribune . City Council, Boards and Commission meetings are generally held at the times and days noted below: • City Council Meetings: 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm. • City Council Study Sessions: 1st, 3rd and 5th* Tuesday of each month at 7:00pm. *if it applies • Code Enforcement Board: 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:00pm. • Economic Development Advisory Board: 1st Monday of each month at 6:00pm. • Parks and Recreation Advisory Board: 1st Thursday of each month at 6:00pm. • Planning Commission: 2nd Monday of each month at 6:00pm. • Salary Commission: Annual Meeting every August at 6:00pm. The public is welcome to attend all meetings. Meetings take place at Edgewood City Hall, 2224 104th Avenue East (unless otherwise noted). If you have any questions regarding meeting times, places, agendas or ADA access, please call City Hall at 253-952-3299 for assistance. Meeting times and places do occasionally change so it is advisable to contact City Hall 24-hours prior to a scheduled meeting to confirm the location, date, and time. To receive Council meeting notices and agendas, please contact our City Clerk at or call 253-952-3299 to be placed on the distribution list.


for a seat on the Edgewood City Council. The West Wing TV show was airing when I was in college and it left a big impression on me. “Decisions are made by those who show up” is an often quoted line that is as profound as it is simple. The truth is, we do not get enough people running for open positions in Edgewood. Most years there is at least one race with just a single candidate. In 2019, there were five positions open and only one of them was really contested. I have some incredible colleagues on the Edgewood City Council, and you are lucky to have them representing you, but elections should be about having too many great candidates to choose from. It is also not that people in Edgewood don’t want to be involved. For a community of just eleven-thousand people, we often have too many people who want to participate.The last few times we had open seats on boards, we had more great candidates than we had available seats.We have had two council seats vacant during the last few years and we had tremendous interest in being appointed to those seats.There is just something about elections that puts people off. Having run for my first election in 2019, I can empathize. It can be a bit intimidating to put yourself out there, but I am here to tell you it does not have to be intense or a large investment of time, if that is what’s holding you back. You can get yard signs and plant them around town. If we are past COVID-19 this fall, you could go door-to- door or campaign in another traditional way. You can blitz social media chatting with people. Or, you can just show up for the candidate forum to tell people a bit about yourself. Every candidate submits a statement for the voter’s guide, and that is what many people base their decision off. If you want, that can be your entire campaign - it can be as much, or as little, as you want. If you want to help guide how Edgewood grows as a community, we need you to show up. Especially if you have a perspective that is unrepresented or underrepresented on our council.We have eight elected officials, and we are not as diverse a representation of the population and we could be. I think most of us try to think outside our own perspective, but that will never take the place of having truly diverse experiences represented in the discussion and decision-making process. Candidate filing is open from May 17th to May 21st.That is just a few months away and it is only a five-day window. You can get more information at the candidate information page at the Washington Secretary of State website, elections/candidates . Edgewood City Council has formed an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee. Stay tuned for more information on how you can participate! | Facebook @cityofedgewood | Twitter @CityofEdgewood DidYouKnow?



HowWeManaged2020- INANUTSHELL


are home based, so we considered some of the small business, and utility bill programs other cities stood up, but they all had significant management costs and had us worried about generating inequities in distributing funding. After some debate and a lot of work looking at these various programs some of our neighboring cities implemented, we made the decision to focus on food instability. Food security is one of the largest family expenses and a critical need in times of crisis. Our local food bank saw huge increases in use, with folks who’d never participated finding themselves in need.That, as you can see by the graph, became the council’s choice to produce the most immediate relief with 100% of our contribution going directly to those in need. Congress is now discussing a new package of assistance that may provide additional funding to the city.We expect to again provide direct assistance to the community, perhaps expanding existing programs that not only provide food, but rent and utility bill relief. Again, trying to get 100 cents on the dollar into the hands of those in need. As we venture into 2021, doing our best to leave 2020 behind us, we’re more confident than ever about the future, and strength of this small and mighty city.This is a great place to live and work, and for that we thank you!

ayor Eidinger and city staff saw the burden a worldwide crisis was bringing our way in early March. We closed the doors to the public and sent our employees home to work remotely about

As COVID-19 depressed our health, economy, and spirits, it also depressed interest rates. As a result, the city council approved a plan by the mayor to investigate the possibility of lowering the interest rate on the Local Improvement District debt. The debt was created when the sanitary sewer was constructed along Meridian in 2010. The property owners that front the sewer were each assessed a portion of the cost to construct it. The debt was financed by a loan from USDA Rural Development at the rate of 4.25% over a twenty year payback schedule. Since then, the debt has dropped from over $18 million to just under $7 million, a result of annual debt service payments and property owners paying off their assessments early. The city contracted with DA Davidson and Foster Garvey, both Seattle firms, who helped us refinance the city hall debt to about 2.2%. In late 2020, an offer was distributed to financial institutions for their consideration. The offer was accepted by Pacific Premier Bank and the new rate to property owners effective January 28th is 2.1%...about a 50% reduction. Those property owners servicing the debt will receive 100% of the annual reduction in interest costs. New payment schedules will be distributed in February to let each assessed owner know what the new lower cost is for the remaining years. EDGEWOOD CUTS INTEREST IN HALF!

a week before Governor Inslee issued his statewide “Stay-At-Home” order. Edgewood was ready for the upcoming shortage of hand sanitizer, masks, and, yes, even toilet paper because our Emergency Manager, Sandi Phillips already had the supplies, including boxes of PPE under each employee’s desk and in each city vehicle.We began preparing for remote operations before we knew there would be a CARES Act providing financial relief. When we found out we were in line to receive about $300,000 to stand up remote operations, we ramped up our plan quickly and by June, our CARES Act relief grant had grown to a total of $512,000 and we were operating the city completely remote. Thanks to an ongoing building boom we kept everyone employed by delivering on our promises to maintain the city, keep you safe, be available, and pass on what we know, when we know it.The attached graphic shows how city council spent the CARES Act grant money the city received from the Federal Government. We don’t have a large retail base in our city yet (we’re working on it) and most of our businesses


Remote City Services 216,495

Public Health Communication 4,160 Public Health Supplies 11,180 Public Health Disinfecting Areas 1,871

Public Safety Measures 72,430

Food Bank 212,000 | 7


The Heart of Edgewood “YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO.” You have probably heard some version of this saying from a parent, teacher, or friend. The phrase gives you two options; keep your cake, or eat it. Obviously, the phrase is not intended to be taken literally (I’m more of a pie person anyway).The saying simply means you can’t have everything you want. This lesson is true for many things in life, but not quite everything. Have your cake and eat it (too) Edgewood is unique .The hillside offers views of Mount Rainier.The single family neighborhoods have a special pastoral feel.Wetlands, open spaces, and wildlife habitat areas have been protected over time. This is the cake that people want to keep. Edgewood is developing .The Puget Sound region is rapidly growing. In 2019, Edgewood was the eighth fastest growing city in the region1.This growth drives new development. The development will bring exciting new things like shops, restaurants, and jobs.This is the cake that people want to eat. In order to have cake and eat it too, Edgewood will need to find a way to uniquely develop .

The city’s comprehensive plan tells the story of Edgewood.The plan was written in 2015 by community members, city council, planning commission, and city staff. A quick summary of Edgewood’s story looks like this: EDGEWOOD’S STORY THe Past

THe Future Edgewood must preserve its unique rustic character while also improving the quality of life for all citizens through continued progress and development. In Edgewood’s story, the Past and Present don’t always agree.The Future must resolve this conflict. For this reason, the Future is the most intriguing part of the story. It gives you hints about what might happen, but you have to keep reading to find out how the story ends!

Edgewood incorporated in 1996 as a unique residential community with rustic qualities and a pastoral history. THe Present Edgewood is growing and developing with new homes, expanding infrastructure, and improved city services.



The Future gives us clues about what Edgewood could be like in the year 2035. Most of these clues can be found in the City’s Vision Statement contained in the 2015 comprehensive plan:

“In 2035, we have preserved our rural small town character, family-friendly neighborhoods and our trees and open spaces. Town Center is our commercial hub and home to a vibrant local economy. Pedestrian and bike paths connect people and places throughout our community. We are fiscally sustainable, providing high quality public services within our financial capacity. Similarly, we strive to be environmentally sustainable, living within the capacity of our natural systems. We are a community of active citizens who are engaged in the decisions that shape our future and make Edgewood a unique and special place.”

After reading this, it becomes clear that the Future must balance the desires of the Past and Present.The Vision also tells us to focus our efforts on Edgewood’s Town Center.

Town Center: The Heart of Edgewood PLANNINGTOWN EDGEWOOD’S VISION

WHAT ISTOWN CENTER? Town Center is defined as the “Heart of Edgewood”.The Town Center neighborhood is intended to be the densest area of the city. Mixed-use development is encouraged, meaning that commercial and residential development should be built together. Town Center seeks to promote desirable development that will serve the entire community. WHERE ISTOWN CENTER? Town Center, as its name implies, is centrally located in Edgewood along Meridian Avenue. It includes civic buildings: city hall, police department, fire station.There are also things like shops, offices, and other services. The neighborhood has experienced significant growth in the past few years due to three large multifamily developments along the East side of Meridian. The neighborhood must reflect Edgewood’s close-knit, small-town character. It must also bring new people and places to the city.

CENTERTOGETHER The Future of Edgewood will be shaped by Town Center.The neighborhood must reflect Edgewood’s close-knit, small-town character. It must also bring new people and places to the city. Attracting this type of development requires thoughtful and strategic planning efforts. Some of these efforts are already underway. The City of Edgewood’s Community and Economic Development (CED) Department and Planning Commission are identifying ways to promote unique and desirable development in Town Center. Some possible strategies could be: • Create a plan for the future develop- ment of city hall/civic center campus • Establish public-private partnerships to build community-based projects • Target specific desired uses for new development • Set locations for public plaza areas and walking/biking paths • Prioritize infrastructure improve- ments that serve the community • Identify businesses that fit the com- munity’s needs • Attract regional visitors with planned events

The goal of these efforts is to improve the quality of life for all citizens. In the coming months, city staff and the planning commission will be engaging with the public to build the “Heart of Edgewood” together. With your participation, Edgewood can have its cake, and eat it too. If you find this topic interesting and would like to learn more, please reach out to Associate Planner Evan Hietpas at or (253) 831- 4254. You can also find more information on similar topics by reading the “Meet the Planning Commission” article in the Winter 2020-2021 community magazine. 1 Puget Sound Regional Council. WA State Office of Financial Management, April 1, 2019 Population of Cities, Towns and Counties | 9


EDGEWOODGIS: LAYER GROUPS PUT ORGANIZED DATA AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Let’s take a look at each group: • Boundaries – This group is a little broad, but generally

All Layer Boundaries

includes political and regulatory boundaries, including zoning, school district, sewer service, and subdivision boundaries. • Critical Areas – This group contains environmentally critical areas, including potential wetland, flood hazard, and potential landslide hazard areas. Many of these areas need to be verified as part of permit review. • Flood Hazards – This group provides a collection of flood hazard information from a variety of sources.

Edgewood GIS is full of useful information. In the last issue, we went over how Edgewood GIS can help you find other relevant websites using the More Info tab. In this issue we’ll take a look at the map layers Edgewood GIS has to offer. To get started, open Edgewood GIS in your browser. The simplest way to get there is to go to , hover your mouse over City Services along the top banner, and then select Edgewood GIS Map . After the program loads, you’ll see a zoomed out view of the city boundary along with some major roadways. To access more data, click the Layer Groups button along the top right of the page. A menu will drop down giving you groups, or categories, of layers to choose from. Of course, you could open the All Layers group and find what you’re looking for. But with so many different layers available, being able to quickly find what you’re looking for can make using Edgewood GIS that much easier.

Critical Areas Flood Hazards Land Use Points of Interest Transportation Utility Weather

Let’s try looking at Potential Wetlands. Select the Critical Areas group. Tick the checkbox next to Potential Wetlands . The map will update to show the city’s Potential Wetland inventory as green blobs. Next, tick the checkbox next to Buffer (maximum possible) – Potential Wetlands . The map will update to show what a 300-foot buffer from these potential wetland areas would look like. Try zooming in and moving the map around to explore potential wetlands different parts of the city! • Transportation – This group contains layers related to the city’s transportation network, and includes things like road classifications, non-motorized route designations, road ownership, and surface maintenance projects. • Utility – This group contains layers related to water and sewer service areas. • Weather – This group contains a layer that shows nearby air quality monitoring stations. There are no stations within city limits, but nearby monitors can provide a good estimate for what Edgewood air quality is like. • Land Use – This group contains a collection of land use information including things like permits, zoning, subdivisions, and more. • Points of Interest – This is another broad group that shows things like permits, public facilities, crime occurrences, and more.


Critical Areas


Regulated Floodplain (PC2017)


Aquifer Recharge Area [Critical Area]


Fish And Wildlife Habitat [Critical Area]


Potential Flood Hazard Area [Critical Area]


Seismic (Liquefaction and Dynamic Settlement) Hazard Area [Critical Area] ... Wellhead Protection Area [Critical Area] ... Potential Wetlands [Critical Area] ... Buffer (maximum possible) - Potential Wetlands [Critical Area] ... Volcanic Hazard [Critical Area] ... Erosion and Landslide Hazard Area [Critical Area] ...

| EDGEWOOD MAGAZINE Spring 2021 10



n the last issue of Edgewood Magazine, we explored the many benefits of wetlands.Wetlands are a unique and helpful part of our natural environment. They help keep our water clean and provide habitats for many kinds of animals. Because of their high value, Edgewood has measures in place to make sure our wetlands stay protected. In this article, we’ll take a look at what the city’s code requires when developing in or near wetlands and what to do if you have one on or near your property. How do I know if I have a wetland on my property? Did you know that Edgewood has an interactive GIS map online? To learn more about how to use our maps, see page 10 titled GIS – Data at your Fingertips in this magazine. You can use GIS to see the location of a potential wetland, and the maximum possible buffer. It’s important to know the information on our maps only shows potential wetlands, which means the actual boundary and buffer of the wetland may be different than what is shown on the map. I

Edgewood GIS shows that there is a potential wetland or buffer on my property, what now? If you are planning on starting a development project such as a subdivision, or new construction on your property like adding on to your house, building an accessory structure, or developing a piece of land, you will need to identify the specific location of such wetlands on or near your property. A wetland delineation report, or a report that shows the boundaries and buffers of a wetland, will help you get the most accurate information.These reports are also a requirement for many of our permit types. A qualified wetland specialist can prepare the report for you, and the city will have a peer review of the report done.The information in this kind of report will help guide many aspects of a project, and it is a good step to take early on in your process. What does Edgewood’s Municipal Code, (EMC) say about wetlands? A wetland report also requires the environmental expert writing the report to demonstrate the rating of the wetland and the size of the buffer applied to the wetland. The expert will examine the EMC to determine what category the wetland falls into. Title 14 of the EMC; often referred to as the city’s critical areas code covers all of our critical areas regulations including wetlands, streams, steep slopes and more. Information about wetlands can be found in EMC

Chapter 14.40. As you can see in this Chapter, wetland buffers are based on a wetland category and a “habitat score”. The habitat score is part of the overall wetland ratings system outlined by the Department of Ecology. Buffers may be reduced in certain circumstances by applying the City’s Wetland Impact Minimization Measures.This includes keeping down noise, light, water, and air pollution. You should always first try and avoid changing a wetland. If this isn’t possible, there are permit process and regulations in place that may allow for a wetland to be impacted as long as the impacts are property mitigated.These are also based on the category and scores of a wetland. What is and isn’t allowed in wetlands and their buffers? Development activity is restricted in wetlands and their buffers. EMC Chapter 14.40 lists what is and isn’t allowed in wetlands. Allowed activities include protecting the wetland, trimming plants to maintain view corridors, and some drilling for utilities. You may not pave or clear a wetland without obtaining a permit. These activities may result in loss of wetland function. To read more about wetland function read the winter article Title. To read more about regulated activates in critical area see Chapter EMC 14.30. | 11



I am your new Police Chief, Mark Berry, and the welcome I’ve received from community members has been overwhelming.Thank you! The first few days driving through the city, so many people waved to me that I kept checking to see if my overhead emergency lights were on! Some of you may have read a bit about me on Edgewood PD’s Facebook ( @CityofEdgewoodPD ) or Twitter ( @Edgewood_PD ) accounts, but I wanted to give you more of my story here. I have been married to my beautiful and patient wife for twenty-four years, and we have two children.We love spending time doing anything outdoors, from hiking, camping, and golf, to recently learning to fall down a mountain on a snowboard. I have been with the Pierce County Sheriff ’s Department for more than 25 years. In that time, I have worked in patrol, gangs and narcotics, background and hiring, training, and most recently in the Foothills Detachment in Bonney Lake. One of the biggest privileges I’ve had with the sheriff ’s department was being assigned to our SWAT team for the last 20 years. I am an instructor in many disciplines and have held leadership positions such as Team Commander and Team Leader. SWAT has been a passion of mine for two decades; it has been exciting, exhausting, and rewarding. While I loved working in the Foothills Detachment and being a part of SWAT, the chance to help grow police/ community relations in Edgewood as the Chief of Police was an opportunity I could not turn down. The City of Edgewood has placed their trust in me and my vision for Edgewood. I want to give the Edgewood community all my drive, my passion, and my energy. This is not just a job to me.This is a challenge to grow with Edgewood as Edgewood grows, and I want to give you one hundred percent. One of the many habits I developed in my time on SWAT is demanding excellence. I don’t believe meeting a minimum standard is passing. I believe we can do better. I expect you to demand the best from me. I have many ideas and goals I hope to accomplish with you.While enforcement activities are always a needed focus of law

Please note our NEW non-emergency number has changed, it is now 253-287-4455. •

Don’t post complaints/ issues to our social media pages, please report them

directly to 911 or our non-emergency line. •

enforcement, I believe building commu- nity and trust with our citizens is equally important. Be prepared for us to walk up and say hello when you are at a park. Be prepared to hear from your children that the police were at the school eating lunch with them. Be prepared to see our Edge- wood deputies in the community doing things not traditionally considered police work. Be prepared to have contact with us simply because we want to meet you. In addition, I will consistently encourage you to reach out and share what building trust looks like to you. I don’t have your experiences in life, and I don’t have your experiences with the police. I need your help. I need your ideas of how to build trust and community between you and your Edgewood Police Department. You can start today by emailing me directly at . I am very excited to be in Edgewood and to be your Chief. I am eager to work with you to build a community of trust and respect. And most of all, I am here for you.Thank you for letting me join your amazing Edgewood team. Respectfully, Chief Mark Berry

If you need to speak to a deputy, don’t leave a message on our office line, call the non-emergency number. •

When in doubt call 911- that’s what it’s there for. •

| EDGEWOOD MAGAZINE Spring 2021 12


t is common this time of year for home projects. You may wonder - does my project require a permit? Please call the city to check - it is free! Code Connection DID YOU KNOW?


HERE IS ONE EXAMPLE OF A PERMIT REQUIREMENT: • The property owner or contractor must obtain a roof permit to re-cover or fully replace your roof. WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO GET A PERMIT? • To safeguard the safety of your family and ensure your project follows the city’s building codes. • If you hire a roofing contractor, it helps to ensure they are registered and licensed with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and the City of Edgewood. • Work conducted without the proper permit(s) can result in penalties to the contractor and/or homeowner of $500, or equal to the permit fee, whichever is greater. This is in addition to the permit fee. CONTACT US: City of Edgewood Code Enforcement Division 2224 104th Avenue East Edgewood, WA 98372 To report Code Compliance issues call Code Compliance Specialist John Fairbanks 253.392.2561 or download the City’s “See, Click, Fix” Phone App.

IS IT A CODE VIOLATION? Occasionally, Code Enforcement fields calls regarding neighbor disputes. Sometimes these are not “true” code violations and are outside the city’s authority to address. Here are some examples of complaints that we receive, which are not subject to Edgewood Municipal Code (EMC) requirements, thus making them civil disputes: • Property Line Disputes - Encroachments onto someone’s private property by an abutting property owner is a civil dispute that is not enforceable under the EMC. For example, a fence built by one neighbor over another neighbor’s property line. The city can, however, enforce setback violations, such as a structure built too close to a property line. • Deed Restrictions - Neighborhood deed restrictions and covenants are private property agreements between the buyer and developer of a property. The city is not a party to these agreements and therefore has no authority to enforce the deed restrictions. • Trees/Vegetation - Trees or vegetation that grows or encroaches onto abutting properties is a private civil matter between property owners and is not enforceable under the EMC. However, overgrown vegetation on a property is a violation of the EMC, which you may report to the city.

CODE ENFORCEMENT WORKS This property generated many calls for the police department. People were residing in the building, RV’s and vehicles. Violations on the property were unlawful occupancy, lack of water and electricity, illegal burning, junk vehicles, and garbage and debris, just to name a few. The property owner entered into a Voluntary Correction Agreement and brought the property into compliance. They also removed the structure to discourage future unwanted occupants. | 13


Maintaining healthy lawns, plants, and trees helps to manage stormwater. Plant material above ground slows water from moving along the surface. Roots create pathways for water to drain into the soil. By keeping lawns and plants healthy, we allow more water to be stored and used below the ground. Here are some lawn care tips to think about as spring approaches. Start with cleanup. Cleanup any debris or garbage that has accumulated on your lawn over the fall and winter. Rake your lawn to remove partially composted leaves or lawn clippings so when heavy spring rains come, large amounts of sediment doesn’t get washed into the stormwater system or nearby streams. Aerate your lawn. Lawns get used, whether kids are outside playing on the lawn or the wheelbarrow is pushed over it to move plants from place to place. Over time, the soils in lawns tend to get compacted. The more compact the soil, the less it is able to hold water and the more difficult it is for plants to grow. One way to repair your soil is by core aeration. Core aeration is a process that removes small plugs of soil from the top layer of your lawn, allowing for increased water storage and root growth. Many lawn care companies offer this service or you can rent the equipment from a local garden center. Reseed bare spots. During the winter you may have noticed some areas in your lawn where the grass had died or eroded away. Spring is a good time to add seed to your lawn to fix any of the bare spots. After laying seed on the surface of the soil, make sure to cover seed with mulch or peat moss to insulate and protect the seeds from birds or animals. Inspect and maintain your tools. Spring is a great time to pull the lawn mower out of the shed and give it some attention. It’s a good idea to take a look at the oil level in your mower and this just might be the year to change the oil. Always make sure you dispose of used oil at a recycling center. Check all power equipment for leaking fluids and have them repaired if needed. Another important thing is to always keep your mower blades sharp. A sharp mower blade cuts your grass cleanly which improves turf health and promotes denser growth. Fertilize thoughtfully. When it comes to fertilizer, more isn’t always better. Over fertilized lawns can result in nutrients leaving your property and becoming a problem for nearby surface water. Make sure to read instructions carefully when trying to figure out how much fertilizer is needed for your lawn. If you still have questions, look for tips online or give your favorite garden center a call and ask for advice. Grass height and Mulching. Cutting your grass to a higher setting on your mower will allow grass to shade-out weeds and keep moisture in the soil. Also, mulching is an effective way to naturally fertilize your lawn. When mulching, a sharp blade will reduce the size of the clippings and speed up the decomposition process. ARE YOU READY FOR SPRING?

Rick Pederson, our Public Works Superintendent and most tenured employee, is leaving us. We can’t blame him though; after almost 15 years with the city, he has decided it’s time to retire . . . . Again. We say it’s been 15 years, but in reality it’s been more than 20 years. Because prior to becoming a City of Edgewood employee, he spent most of his days in Edgewood - working for Pierce County. In 2005, he retired from the County, and seven months later, Dave Lorenzen, our Public Works Director at the time, contacted him about coming to work for us directly. By this time, Rick had been enjoying his retirement, playing golf, and living the good life, but decided after a couple of bad golf games (kidding) that maybe retirement wasn’t for him - yet. So he accepted the offer and came on board with us full time, and according to Rick, “After my first week in Edgewood, I knew I had retired way too early.” Since then, Rick’s days have been filled with managing the maintenance contract the city has with Pierce County. He oversees the chip sealing, paving, grading and road shaping, installing drainage systems, making sure drainage structures throughout the city get cleaned annually, cutting brush and grass on the sides of the road, and countless other jobs. His experience and knowledge has been invaluable to us. As his time with Edgewood comes to a close, I asked him to tell me one of the best parts about working here to which he answered, “The people, all of them, they’re exceptional employees. It’s rare to find a group that gives 100% every day- and they do. I can honestly say this has been the best job I ever had.” As the sun sets on his time here in Edgewood, it also rises on his days ahead which, as he tells us, will be full of golf, travel, and spending time with his wife and grandchildren. Although he will definitely be missed, we wouldn’t be those “exceptional employees” he raved about earlier if we didn’t also add, no one has earned this more than him. Congratulations Rick! Enjoy the next chapter, and don’t be a stranger. Farewell andFORE! Rick Pederson and his wife Connie

| EDGEWOOD MAGAZINE Spring 2021 14


have no doubt there are citizens who enjoy the articles that grace the pages of this magazine focused on stormwater maintenance, the capital improvement plan, and the budget.That being said, I also believe there are those who flip through the magazine hoping for something else to read.When this shows up in your mailbox, my hope is you enjoy the articles and take a minute to read it –not use it to swat flies, or to line your cat litter box. So in my quest to provide a variety of This is Something Else to Read... I

Christina next to one of her many paintings

personal use (hence the name) to catalog sewing websites for quick reference, but it evolved into much more. Once Google came on the scene it was much easier for people to find information, and before she knew it, her website, where she offered sewing and craft lessons, had turned from a hobby into a career. Content with sewing and happy with what her website had grown into, and after the persistent urging of a friend, Christina signed up for a painting class. Her father was an accomplished artist, so painting wasn’t new to her, but it had never been her forte. She was quickly reminded of the time she asked him why she couldn’t draw and his response was “You have to learn to see first”. So with that in mind, Christina entered the classroom. After settling in, the instructor told each student to take a deep breath and relax, and there in that safe creative space she did just that, and fell in love with painting. With painting now part of her repertoire, Christina started the North Phoenix Artists, whose main purpose was to bring local art lovers together to share their latest pieces, provide advice and encouragement, and take the heat off supportive spouses who were tired of being dragged to art galleries on Saturday afternoons. Many of the members were highly skilled artists; some with professional art backgrounds. Several even had art displayed in galleries, yet everyone was eager to share their knowledge with one another, no matter their skill level. In 2020, Christina and her husband

decided to move back to the PNW to be closer to their daughters.Their home search landed them here in Edgewood where they have managed to stay busy by remodeling their new house, which they moved into in September. “It’s my current project” she explained. “My new canvas.” Although happy with the creative outlet their new home provides, Christina understandably misses the friends she left behind in the North Phoenix Artist group. Never one to just let things happen, Christina is already looking to a future with COVID behind us so she can form a new group here in Edgewood. “I would love to start a safe creative space here, where artists of all levels can join together and learn from one another.”As she and her husband plant their roots here in Edgewood, she has her eyes set on the future looking to do more of what she’s been doing the last 20 years - connecting with individuals who have a desire to learn more about art. “Sometimes we just need a nudge and a creative safe space”Christina explained. “Achieving goals isn’t always about skill, sometimes it’s just being able to step outside of your comfort zone.” If you’re interested in learning more about Christina, or a “creative safe space” here in Edgewood, visit or contact Christina at . Her website has something for everyone, and the best part about it is she provides it all free of charge! Welcome to Edgewood, Christina! We look forward to seeing your creativity ignite our community!

reading content, you can image my delight when back in September, a woman name Judy Roberts contacted me about her friend who had recently moved here from Arizona. Her friend told her all about our magazine, even emailing it to her to read. While perusing the pages, Judy saw my request for comments regarding content and she thought the magazine would be a great way to spotlight one of Edgewood’s new residents. After reading more, I agreed. So, without further ado, I present to you - Christina Sherrod. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), and a graduate of the University of Washington, Christina went on to work at Boeing where she met her husband and continued to work until their first child was born.They eventually relocated to Richland due to her husband’s new job, and Christina started her own accounting/consulting business so she could stay home with their two young children. Not long after settling in, a neighbor offered to teach her how to sew, and as she explains it “That changed my world!” Accounting satisfied her wallet she said, but did not satisfy her soul, and in sewing she found a much needed creative outlet. Eventually her husband’s career sent them packing again, this time to Phoenix. This was the early days of the internet, back when we couldn’t “Google” anything, and it took 45 minutes for a website to load - but that didn’t stop Christina. With a book on “how to html program” she went to work creating a webpage for herself called . In the beginning, it was only meant for her own

If you have an idea for a story, I’d love to hear from you! Contact me Jill Schwerzler-Herrera at or 253-952-3299. | 15

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