Group Launches Website to Protest City’s Planned Marina Development

A group calling itself ‘Friends of the Des Moines, Wa. Waterfront’ has launched a new website protesting the City of Des Moines’ plans for development of the Marina.

“We recently discovered the City is rapidly moving forward with plans for major development in the Marina which could include multi-story hotel, offices, retail, restaurant and parking structure,” reads a note. “If we act now we still have an opportunity for input. We have more detailed information, a place for your suggestions, and an update signup about this project at the website.”

Organizers appear to want to remain anonymous for now, and a WhoIs search of the domain name revealed a private/protected account.

“We are “Friends of the Waterfront” who believe none of these options represent the best interests of existing businesses in our downtown nor the citizens of Des Moines,” the website states.

More information on the movement is located at or by emailing [email protected]

We’re hoping to interview the people behind this website, and will do a new story when we reach them.


24 Responses to “Group Launches Website to Protest City’s Planned Marina Development”
  1. Wanker says:

    After living in Des Moines for the past 6 years within walking distance of the marina, I am exaciyed to see the city moving forward with the development of the marina. All 3 plans, if executed correctly will provide the citizens of Des Moines with revenue, jobs, local activities, and increase in the local property values. I really don’t see any negatives here.

    I have a feeling water district 54 is behind this. They seem to be against any type of improvements. Growth does not pay for growth, it simply moves on to other communities that will pay for it.

    Imagine one day when you tell someone you’re from Des Moines, instead of them saying “isn’t that where all the hookers and drug dealers are on PAC-Hwy?”, they mention the beautiful Marina district instead.

  2. Daniel Roberts says:

    Whoever the organizers are, I thank them for their efforts. The people of Des Moines need to hear about this, and (surprise surprise) the City and the Advisory Committee have done a very poor job of publicizing both the planning and the meetings. I’d be surprised if very many people in Des Moines even know this is going on. My family only heard about it through word of mouth, despite a supposed bulk mailing that went out about the open house held last month.

  3. Daniel Roberts says:

    Commenter #1, you picked an apt name.

  4. Wanker says:

    It is unfortunate that the hotel may block the view of some, but a small amount of inconvenience is a small price for the greater good. I am not sure

    • Wanker says:

      Whoops! Hit submit before I was finished.

      I am not sure what you mean about lack of communication though. There was a story on this site in December or November about the committee and it is very well documented amongst the city council meeting minutes and city managers report. Both of those are available on the cities website. There was also a meeting notice mailed out a couple months ago it was received the day before, but it was notice If you want to know what’s going on in any city or community, you may need to seek out the info rather than wait for someone to seek your input.

    • Greg Fox says:

      If you think inconvenience is a small price to pay for Growth then wait until they start tearing 216th street apart from Pac Hiway to the post office for the new commercial park (read that as the new port facilities). They are going to widen the street and make it all but impossible to get thru for at least a year! If you ever had a chance to go thru first street at Normandy Park/Burien a few years ago during that improvement project or the 16th street improvement project-this will at least that bad if not worse.
      So much for Growth!!! Enjoy it as you sit in your car and listen to the radio-cause you aren’t going to go anywhere fast…

      • Dave Markwell says:

        Inconvenience is a lousy excuse to not do the right thing. Growth involves inconvenience and some pain and sacrifice. The world changes. It’s what it does. We either change with it or are left behind. For too long, we have been left behind and we are now trying to catch up. It is a difficult and imperfect process, but also right and important. People complaining about TRAFFIC problems associated with a project that WILL add a substantial boost to the City’s budget have no place at the table. Get in or get out. This train is moving….FINALLY….
        Also, I suspect this group is some South Shores Condominum owners concerned about “their” back yard, otherwise known as the publicly* owned City of Des Moines Marina. *”Public” being the other 29,000 people who live in this town.

        • Daniel Roberts says:

          Wow, Dave… you sure don’t like us, do you?

        • Daniel Roberts says:

          Gettin’ kinda snippy, too there, mate. What, didn’t have a feel good Friday this week?

          • Dave Markwell says:

            I had a great Feel Good Friday!!! And any of my “snippy”-ness was the result of my frustration at the comments regarding traffic concerns involved with a good project. With regards to your group: I DO like you!! I am glad you are getting involved in the discussions. It is important that you have a voice in the conversations. While I don’t share, in entirety, your perspective on Marina development issues, I do understand them and think your perspective can help shape a better project. I do, also, think disclosure is important and understanding that your concerns are pretty specific to the impact of ANY development on your lives is unique, given your close (and awesome) proximity to the Marina. Most of us in town love the Marina, too, and would love to have some options to enjoy it!! Given your proximity, you stand to benefit most of all from appropriate development. And, understand, that no one wants “inappropriate” development. The projects being discussed are a potential restaurant-coffee-shop-fish-bar type place perhaps some appropriate retail and a small hotel…NOT strip bars and casinos!! Some stairs connecting the Marina to our downtown business core WILL benefit the uphill businesses. Overall, I believe that everyone recognizes the wonderful character and ambience of the Marina as it is and only wants to enhance opportunities to enjoy it…for everyone. Feel free to contact me, anytime, if you’re interested in discussing this further. I’m easy to find. I’m glad your group is being heard and I look forward to your positive contributions. -Dave

        • Greg Fox says:

          Saying it is right doesn’t necessarily make it so. I seriously doubt that it will substantially boost the city budget. What the city needs to do is cut back on the building department budget so that they spend what they make. It is overstaffed and needs to be thinned. Other cities have had to cut back. This would reduce the budget in and of itself.
          Now for suffering and growth. What side of the rock were you born under? Why should we have to suffer when everything is working now? I like the train the way it is…

          • DM Resident says:

            And what side of the rock were you born under? What we have isn’t working now. If it was, we wouldn’t be in the financial situation that we are in. This City is in worse financial shape than almost any other City in this state. The reason, we have had people like you that want to keep it the way it is. I happen to think it’s embarassing to drive through our downtown and see a bunch of run down, green cinder block buildings that are sitting vacant. Greg, it’s people like you that are the reason for our City being what it is. I don’t disagree the building department is overstaffed but why would we not encourage development and progress. You can’t really think that our downtown and Marina can’t be any better than they are right now?

          • Greg Fox says:

            Well DM resident, at least I am not afraid to put my name on my blog.
            You are right however. The downtown area is pathetic and definitly needs something, but the question is what? The business park was supposed to bring retail (with taxes) to the city, but the port is going to build on it-no taxes there. Then there is the hotel on Pac Hiway. I have heard of this for 3 years, but nothing! The city could benefit from the permit fees and taxes from a big project like this, but it ain’t happening. The city says soon, but has been saying that for years.
            I have no answers, but how about this:
            If the city is in such sad shape (and it is) then why do we still have most of the same city council members and city administraive staff? If there would be anybody to point a finger at all-how about them? Or blame me for my attitude-whatever…

          • DM Resident says:

            You’re correct about blaming the council members. I would only add that I blame many of the former council members. At least the long time council members that remain appear to have changed their course and direction and are willing to try something new instead of continuing to run this City into the ground. How can anyone fault the City for this new direction? We’ve tried the “let’s stay a small little town on the water” theory and looked what that has gotten us…..nearly bankrupt!!!

  5. Sandra Higgins says:

    A good discussion is worthwhile and should be encouraged, however, anonymity is not a very convincing way to make a point. i hope the editors are able to interview the members of this group.

  6. DM Resident says:

    BUILD BUILD BUILD and allow some badly needed development in our town. The Marina is nice but imagine it with some nice shops, wine tasting, restaurants, etc. Make our town a place that people from other towns want to come visit, spend the day, and SPEND THEIR MONEY. I’m soooo happy this council and city admin have finally gotten over the “we must stay a small undevelped” town. This City is broke.

  7. Doreen Torseth says:

    I appreciate the general idea behind the group, “Friends of the Des Moines, WA Waterfront,” but wish they weren’t anonymous. Anonymity is often a sign of lack of courage or integrity. I hope they will come forward. Also, please remember that there are many Friends of the DM Waterfront. Many of us walk the Marina daily and enjoy the water access via the Marina and Beach Park. True friends of the DM Waterfront will encourage appropriate development in order to generate the revenue necessary to maintain and improve the Marina, Beach Park and City we love.

    • Wanker says:

      The funny thing is that the Friends of Des Moines doesn’t see to be too business savvy. Their domain is registered to who is a website provider, but the company turned around and set them up with a WordPress site which is free and incredibly easy to use. Basically they are paying for a free service. The only exception is the custom domain name rather than having “.wordpress” in the URL. I believe that is $10 or $20 per year.

  8. John Riley says:

    I am glad for the additional tax revenue the city will be able to generate with the new businesses.

  9. Hardbottom says:

    Ha, funny.
    Has anybody taken the time to follow the money on the new pipes that were installed in the marina a couple of years ago? Or maybe this ‘new’ idea?
    Under the skilled guidance of our illustrious harbormaster, it was a mess. SNAFU comes to mind. I’d bet it’s the same cast, act 2.
    Seemed to me all too obvious the project was far more pipes than required to supply the fire hydrants. Kinda’ looked like a grid for future development to me with so many pipes ending with a cap, but, i’m not a civil engineer.
    Wake up folks, the council is going to do whatever it pleases, you ‘little people’ are a minor irritation to them.
    I have a question…..once all the parking lot is covered in buildings, where is everybody supposed to park? It’s hard enough to find a spot when the farmers market is going of even during Anthony’s happy hour.
    One more thing….where are all the dope dealers going to go to do their business?
    Since the cops were relieved of duty in the marina and the private ‘security’ was hired, there is a steady stream of lowlife coming in right after sunset. They race, play their boom,boom,boom music and litter the parking lot with drug debris, with impunity. How fun is that, enjoy!
    That’s some of the reasons I moved out of Des Moines.
    I hope your new top cop is a real person and learns to love the community as I once did, and actually does his job……hold his feet to the fire folks.

    Those of you who know the nickname, wishing y’all the best, miss you, love you, be back for a vacation sometime this fall ( maybe ). Having a great time in my new community.
    good luck with your local pirates.

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