Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Site development gone wrong...

I can only assume that the planners, inspectors, and developers responsible for this home were not focusing on the site.

This steep, once wooded, million-dollar-view piece of property along Chuckanut Drive (near Larabee State Park) was once stunningly beautiful. A house was built, not stunningly beautiful.

The trees and woodland under-plantings that once worked as habitat while protecting the bluff from erosion were mostly removed to make way for parking, house, drainfield and a more open view. The forest, once on this site, is gone along with it's function. The job of the forest was to slow down the rain, plus the uphill runoff, to curb erosion and recharge the aquifer. It was the "sponge" that protected the bluff with the roots binding the bluff. Not any more. It's lost both its function and much of its beauty.

Now there is a parking pull out along Chuckanut where guests can park before they descend the 'wall' to the front entrance. The main entrance is between the two gable roofs and not visible in the above photo, but is to the left.

While I love the look of a well detailed angle, the diagonal supports for the decks do not qualify. In fact, to me, it was a lost opportunity. The vertical element of the remaining trees is the language on this site. A language to be repeated. Rather, the diagonals are analogous to the failure of this building on this site.

And, when you have such a beautiful site, why skimp on the stairs (below). The design was all about the view out the windows and not the site itself. People oriented to the out of doors would need to walk all the way around their house and down very steep, poorly constructed steps, to access their land. This house would not be purchased by a person concerned with the environmental integrity of our land.

But the real scary thing here is how the roof, site and road water are handled.

Clearly someone asked 'what shall we do with the water' and someone answered, "pipes". However, I'm not impressed with the 10" poly pipe answer. Nor with the 4"pvc tight line for the gutters, which apparently went unused (left corner of house.)

It's best to slow down fresh rain water giving it time to be used by plants and animals and the land. Instead the water generated by the roof, road, and parking is flowing to a location below the house. But, there are railroad tracks between the house and the Sound, so it would appear the water is being released on the bluff impacting the safety of trains before it finds it's way to salt water.

No comments:

Post a Comment