Posted by Janet Irby, one of the original home owners in the Crystal Springs Gathering Center.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s Crystal Springs congregation was the site for an intentional community of church members and families. They had bought lots, built homes, and settled in to provide support for each other and for the congregation, as well as to serve the immediate and greater Bothell community. At that time, the denomination was called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) and folks used the nickname “Saints” for those who were a part of the denomination. The following article was published in around 1983/84 in a Seattle church newsletter called the Seattle Stake Sound. The purpose of the article was to spread the news that additional lots would be available for building in that community. Today, only three families still live in the immediate community behind the church. Over the years, 13 different families lived there.
New Lots Available by Crystal Springs
Summer Fall Estates Open
Residents describe gathering experience
By Kathy Sharp
Many Saints in the Seattle Stake have been interested in gathering in to communities near one of our churches so that they might better be able to support the church, as well as experience the support of other church members. A new opportunity now exists for gathering near the Crystal Springs church.
A new housing development adjacent to the Crystal Springs development now has lots available for interested buyers. Called “Summer Fall Estates,” the development is located on 3rd Ave. SE in Bothell and has two entrances off Filbert Road.
Developers Clark Bowen and Bob Parker explained that a total of 33 lots are still available. Division One has 16 lots ready for building; Division 2 with 17 lots has not been priced out.
The lots have street lighting and underground utilities—water, power, and telephone. Within two to three months, curbed sidewalks will be in place on both sides of the street. Like the Crystal Springs Development, the forest atmosphere has been preserved. A cedar and fir greenbelt surrounds the entire perimeter of the property.
Bowen anticipates that the style of the houses in the development will be Northwest contemporary or country and could be tri-levels, split-levels or ramblers. The average house size would be 1800-2600 square feet. Plans are each house would have to be submitted to the architectural committee of Bowen and Parker.
Six of the sixteen lots in Division One have been sold to builders already. Bowen estimates that the cost of a house and lot purchased from a builder would run in the $90,000 range. Those lots still unsold are priced between $23,000 to $25,500. Anyone purchasing one of these lots could select (or be) his own builder. Bowen stressed that once purchased, the lots must be built on within three months.
The development has quick access to 405 and I-5 and convenient neighborhood shopping. Lynnwood and Alderwood Mall Shopping Center are about ten minutes away. Most importantly, the development is in the Northshore School District, which has one of the finest reputations in the Greater Seattle area.
Deciding “to gather” is a big step. For those who are considering such a move, comments from residents of Crystal Springs will help you anticipate what such an experience may be like for you.
One member from each family representing different age groups was interviewed for their reactions to the following questions:
Q: “How has living in a community of church members affected your relationships with the church and neighborhood.?”
Jeff Irby, junior high student: “I participate more in church. It’s nice to have kids around that have the same beliefs and values you do.”
Barbara Cothern, business woman: “We belong to one another in a special way. I have felt a special responsibility to make my home an extension of the church fellowship.”
Josephine Mosney, College Instructor: “It would be difficult not to be involved actively and yet there is still a strong sense of choice. I think we are seen as a witness in a different way than when we commuted in. The day care centered in our “green belt” has been an excellent way to be known.
Q: “Can you think of a special memory that shows how this is a special place to live?”
Diane Puckett, teacher and mother of two young children. “Andy (7) goes to visit adult neighbors and sits down to hold conversations. Carrie (5) “trick or treats” at Mosney’s in February, costume and all. While we were away on Christmas Day, our neighbor fixed our broken water pipe. Another special memory was the community service of blessing of Christina Phillips before her surgery.”
Leah Irby, sixth grader: “Once in awhile we would have a bonfire down by the Tompkins’ house. Everyone would be there, and we’d talk and laugh and have a good time.”
Todd Canning, high school student: “When a family moves into the development, there is a block party that welcomes the new family.”
Tom Tompkins, young adult: “When the Phillips family moved from our neighborhood to Vancouver, WA, we had a going away barbeque for them. There were many fond memories shared as well as tears shed.
Q: “What do you think makes the Crystal Springs Development a special experience?”
Dennis Butterfield, Washington State Employee: “For those belonging to the church, that presents a focus. For the entire neighborhood, there is a caring for each neighbor.”
Josephine Mosney: “It’s a great place for children to be reared. They are schoolmates as well as churchmates. As families we share tools and know-how. We respect our individual needs for privacy and ‘alone’ time, and yet are near in time of need.”
Q: “What do you like about the location of the Crystal Springs Development?”
Jeff Irby: “The schools are better. It’s almost like going to a private school because you learn so much. I also like the woods and that lots of kids are available for friends.”
Barbara Cothern: “I like the feeling that South Snohomish is an area where the future lies ahead, anything is possible, and where the church can have an impact on the formation of a more cohesive community.”
Diane Puckett: “Northshore School District is growing and has no RIF or real financial problems. I like the blend of urban and rural. We’re close enough to Seattle for cultural benefits, but not big-city problems.
Q: “Are there any other comments you’d like to make to someone thinking about moving into the neighborhood?”
Diane Puckett: “It’s not an open door, reunion-type atmosphere; we still respect each other’s privacy. It is an opportunity for intergenerational friendships and a secure environment for children.”
Barbara Cothern: “I feel such joy in the life we have here. I know and love the people around me, which expands my capacity to care for the others of the congregation. I believe my ability to love is enlarged by our experience together and as members.”
Tom Tompkins: “With all the vacant lots for sale, it would be so nice to have an extended neighborhood family of Saints. It’s very nice to be able to walk to church.”