Woodway Woodway

Judging by name, one probably wouldn't be surprised to find roads in Woodway that meander lazily through thick stands of evergreens.

One might be shocked, however, to hear that more than 71 percent of the total area in Woodway is water, according to Census Bureau statistics.

Still, water or no water, it is the trees that provide the town with more than just a namesake; they literally form the roots of its arboreal identity, so much so that the town passed a tree ordinance last year to prevent excessive cutting.

"People in Woodway don't typically like to see trees cut down," said Greg Hoff, owner/broker of Windermere Real Estate in Edmonds and a Woodway resident. "They're very serious about maintaining the special atmosphere that exists here."

That atmosphere, according to Mayor Carla Nichols, is one of relaxing leisure.

"What strikes people about Woodway is the country setting," Nichols said.

Narrow streets

The streets are intentionally narrow and there are lots of mature trees, which attract cyclists, walkers and joggers to the area.

Sandwiched between Edmonds and Shoreline along Puget Sound and incorporated in 1958, Woodway is home to 1,050 residents.

The trees, in combination with spacious lots and zoning that is almost exclusively residential, prompted residents to dub Woodway "The Quiet Place."

In fact, according to Hoff, the town is so quiet that many people don't even know it exists.

"It's funny, but it seems like a lot of people don't know where Woodway is," he said. "There's almost no commercial activity here and the community itself is very private."

In other words, unless you live here or know someone who lives here or have heard about Edmonds-Woodway High School, there's a good chance you aren't familiar with the area.

"Sometimes it's easier to just tell people I live in Edmonds," Hoff joked. "It's quicker than explaining where Woodway is."

It could be argued too that, from a real-estate perspective, the town is equally obscure. With only about 400 homes in Woodway, the market is about as active as, well, the trees.

Earlier this month, only four Woodway homes were up for sale.

Affluent community

Woodway is an affluent community, boasting the eighth-highest per capita income in the state — $51,613 — according to 2000 census statistics.

Of 27 homes sold in 2005, the median price was $1.07 million, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which tracks home-sale statistics in much of Western Washington. The town recently purchased about 20 acres of privately owned forest, complete with a wetland. Nichols said 7 acres of the Woodway Reserve land, for hiking and walking, are projected to open this summer.

The remaining 11 acres will open sometime next year as an educational resource for local schools. Woodway is served by the Edmonds School District.

"The idea is for students to use the space for field trips and nature walks," Nichols said. "There are a number of migratory birds that inhabit the area. We're really very lucky to have a piece of urban forest like this."

Stumps from old-growth trees are common in the yards of Woodway. Some serve as nurse-logs for newer growth. Sandwiched between Edmonds and Shoreline, it was incorporated in 1958. (BETTY UDESEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES)


Population: 1,050 (city figures)

Schools: Woodway is served by the Edmonds School District.

Housing prices: $1.07 million was median of homes sold in 2005.

Nearby medical facilities:

Stevens Hospital, Edmonds

Northwest Hospital, Seattle

Public facilities: Woodway Reserve — Woodway Park Road. With about 20 acres of natural habitat, the Woodway Reserve, when it opens in phases this summer and next year, presents an environment much like the region looked a century ago.

— Seattle Times researcher Miyoko Wolf