By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
To fix an addressing problem, the seven homeowners in the gated Fairway Fountains neighborhood get to decide what their only street will be renamed.
At the April 25, 2017, Mill Creek City Council meeting Police Chief Greg Elwin said that the Snohomish County 911 Office is in the process of reviewing all addresses in the county to be sure that emergency 911 responders can be dispatched to the correct locations.
He stated that last year the county identified “close to hundreds” of improperly addressed Mill Creek properties that could experience 911 response problems.
Elwin went on to say that in an April 5th meeting, county officials gave him and Interim Public Works Director Kamal Mahmoud the good news that work arounds could be provided in all of these cases except for one.
He explained that in the Springtree and Fairway Fountains neighborhoods there are two identically named streets where 911 emergency responders could be delayed or could even arrive at the wrong address.
The Springtree and the Fairway Fountains neighborhoods have homes with overlapping street addresses on two different streets with the same name, 22nd Court SE.
22nd Court SE is the only street in Fairway Fountains. House addresses here range from 15600 to 15699.
The Springtree neighborhood’s 22nd Court SE is only a few hundred feet away on the other side of Village Green Drive. House addresses here range from 15600 to 15799.
According to Elwin it’s the overlap in house addresses that causes the problem. Snohomish County’s 911 systems can’t always cope with this situation. He said that the Fairway Fountains houses were misaddressed.
Since it turns out that the Fairway Fountains houses were misaddressed way back when and there are only seven houses to deal with, at their April 25, 2017, regular meeting the Mill Creek City Council decided that the simplest course of action is to change the street name in the Fairway Fountains neighborhood. They also decided that it would be best to have the residents on the street choose the new name.
Long-time Mill Creek resident and Councilmember Mike Todd said that this has been a problem “since Fairway Fountains was built.” He went on to say that although most package delivery companies have learned to deal with the problem, there are still some packages that are misdelivered.
Todd hoped that the Fairway Fountains homeowners would choose a name like Fairway Fountains Court.
In a telephone interview, Sue Atkins, a 16-year resident of Fairway Fountains said, “We would welcome this change. We have asked for this in the past but our requests have been denied.”
“We are looking forward to being safe,” she added.
Atkins said she can remember a time a few years back when 911 was called out to an accident in her neighborhood and, while waiting for help to arrive, they watched the fire trucks go right past Fairway Fountains along Village Green Drive.
Atkins went on to say that she would like to go back to their original street name that included the name “Fairway Fountains.”
City staff are now in the process of reaching out to Fairway Fountains homeowners so that a new street name can be chosen.
In an email Mill Creek Director of Communications and Marketing Joni Kirk wrote, “I have spoken to the property management company for Fairway Fountains, as well as to Sue Atkins, and this process is moving forward.”
Background Information from the City of Mill Creek’s website
Snohomish County has an address grid system based on quadrants: northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast. Each quadrant is divided into blocks bounded by streets and avenues. Each block is 330 feet or 1/16 mile.
Streets run east and west and avenues run north and south. Roads falling on east/west grid lines are ‘streets (e.g., 132nd Street SE). Roads falling between east/west grid lines are ‘Places’ (e.g., 138th Place SE). Roads falling on north/south grid lines are ‘Avenues’ (e.g., 35th Avenue SE). Roads falling between north/south grid lines are ‘Places’ (13th Place SE).
Any road that winds, angles or in some manner crosses over or does not follow grid lines will have a proper name designation (e.g., Village Green Drive).
House and building address numbers are also governed by a recognized system.
House numbers consist of two parts: a block identifier and a house identifier. The last two digits of every address number are the house identifier. The remaining digits identify the block the house is in. A house number will be designated for every twenty feet on each side of every block.
Even numbers will be on the west and south sides and odd numbers will be on the north and east sides.