Council nixes discuss constructing heights, OKs emergency ordinance relating to stepbacks – My Edmonds Information

Any discussions about constructing peak will increase in downtown Edmonds are off the desk — for now.

A consultant report earlier this yr advised town think about a 2- to 5-foot enhance within the present 30 ft allowed within the downtown BD2 zone. However the council Tuesday evening voted 4-0, with two abstentions, to approve a movement by Councilmember Diane Buckshnis that the council not think about any peak will increase in any downtown enterprise zone “till we do a full assessment of the complete downtown grasp plan.”

At left, the map indicating interim designated road fronts within the BD2 zone now in place. At proper, the proposed everlasting designated road fronts.The blue hatch line on the second map represents the really useful extension of the parcels.

The subject was raised throughout a workers replace about designated road fronts, which prohibit multifamily residential-only items as a result of they require ground-floor business house. The council Might 24 accepted an interim extension of designated road fronts downtown in response to a proposal for a 24-unit house constructing within the 600 block of Primary Road, situated within the BD2 zone.

After the interim requirements had been adopted, the Edmonds Planning Board and Residents’ Financial Improvement Fee additionally reviewed them, and agreed that the blue line needs to be completely prolonged to all BD2 parcels, to be extra in line with town’s Complete Plan.

“What meaning is, you’d need to have business on all floor flooring to fulfill the prevailing code requirements,” Senior Planner Mike Clugston advised the council. “You can not have multifamily-only buildings adjoining to these prolonged map areas.”

Clugston additionally reviewed the market demand evaluation by advisor Otak that had been shared with the council Might 24. Based on that evaluation, whereas the statistics on business workplace house in downtown Edmonds point out a steady market, the emptiness fee for downtown’s 425 multifamily housing rental items is 1%, indicating a brief provide and excessive demand.

In its report, Otak really useful that town not lengthen the designated road fronts, though the council voted Might 24 to take action. The advisor additionally really useful that town think about “a minor enhance” in constructing peak within the BD2 zone, in addition to some other BD zones equally affected, to create extra flexibility for a developer to design a three-story mixed-use growth.

Pointing to Otak’s findings that demand for workplace house “is lagging,” Councilmember Susan Paine mentioned she had considerations concerning the proposal to completely add extra designated road fronts, calling it a “actually huge overreach.”

Talking to the suggestion relating to constructing heights, Councilmember Diane Buckshnis famous that the council voted in 2013 to raise downtown building heights from 25 feet to 30 feet. “I’ve no real interest in including any extra peak,” she mentioned. Her movement that the council not think about any peak will increase pending future discussions was accepted on a 4-0 vote, with Buckshnis, Dave Teitzel, Neil Tibbott and Vivian Olson voting sure and Will Chen and Susan Paine abstaining.

Councilmember Dave Teitzel advised it could be worthwhile to additional focus on with builders what design choices “may work inside that 30-foot envelope,” together with the potential for lowering town’s first-floor ceiling necessities of 12 ft within the BD2 zone and 15 ft within the BD1 zone.

Improvement Director Susan McLaughlin mentioned she agreed with councilmembers who advised that the concept of accelerating heights ought to bear intensive evaluation — together with suggestions from residents — as a part of town’s 2024 Complete Plan replace. The explanation for together with it within the dialogue about extending the designated road fronts, she mentioned, is that such an extension locks within the ground-floor business requirement till the Complete Plan replace is accepted.

A public listening to has been set for Oct. 25 to debate a everlasting extension of the designated road fronts, with adoption scheduled for Nov. 15, Clugston mentioned.

Instance of a constructing stepback subsequent to a residential property.

In different enterprise Tuesday evening, the council unanimously accepted an emergency interim ordinance amending metropolis code, which is geared toward defending single-family residential neighborhoods within the Freeway 99 subarea situated throughout the road from multifamily properties zoned basic business. The ordinance is available in response to considerations expressed by residents within the Gateway neighborhood, situated simply west of Freeway 99, relating to a 261-unit house proposed at 236th Road Southwest and 84th Avenue West.

The emergency ordinance accepted Tuesday evening specifies that stepbacks be required for multifamily developments situated throughout the road from single-family zones. Planning Supervisor Kernen Lien defined that underneath present metropolis code, constructing stepbacks solely apply when they’re “adjoining” to single-family residential zones.

A setback is an architectural design component sometimes utilized to the higher story of a growth. Often, any portion of a constructing above a sure peak is additional pushed in towards the middle of the property.

The interim modification requires that the portion of the constructing above 25 ft in peak should step again at least 8 ft from the required road setback, whereas the portion of a constructing over 55 ft excessive is required to step again at least 16 ft.

The Gateway neighborhood was amongst these rezoned as a part of the Highway 99 subarea plan, which was accepted by town council in 2017. The plan consolidated a lot of the zoning classes for the Freeway 99 hall into one basic business designation.

Lien defined that the steerage for stepbacks got here from Freeway 99 Subarea planning course of. The subarea plan makes a reference to stepbacks, however just for these developments with rather a lot line adjoining to single-family zones. As well as, an Environmental Affect Assertion (EIS) was issued as a part of the Freeway 99 Subarea Plan, however the Deliberate Motion Ordinance that adopted the EIS “doesn’t actually discuss stepbacks from single-family properties throughout the road,” Lien mentioned.

There have additionally been requests from Gateway-area residents that town conduct a supplemental EIS resulting from site visitors and stormwater runoff impacts from new growth. McLaughlin and Lien promised to debate these points additional in the course of the Oct. 18 metropolis council assembly.

The council will maintain a public listening to on the interim ordinance Nov. 15.

Improvement Companies Director Susan McLaughlin, proper, doing group outreach in summer season 2022.

Additionally on Tuesday evening, McLaughlin supplied an replace on group engagement efforts in the course of the summer season to launch town’s 2024 Complete Plan replace. Generally known as “Everybody’s Edmonds,” it featured six-themed weeks primarily based on key subjects discovered within the Complete Plan, together with identification, high quality of life, financial progress, setting, tradition, and livability and land use.

Occasions had been supplied every week that corresponded to the important thing matter, together with articles in native media, presence at native occasions (such because the summer season and Uptown Markets), espresso chats, “stroll and talks” and panel discussions, and mini-surveys. The aim was to solicit 3,500 feedback from the group. Greater than 8,500 feedback had been obtained (600-plus from occasions and practically 7,900 from the surveys).

Responding to a query from Buckshnis relating to folks annoyed with 140-character limits on feedback, McLaughlin mentioned that the aim was to begin with succinct, high-level concepts. Because the planning course of continues, folks can have a possibility to share extra in-depth considering on a variety of subjects, she mentioned.

The following step shall be to catalog and assessment the feedback in order that workers can draft a imaginative and prescient assertion to function the muse of the plan. The aim is to current key themes to the council on Oct. 18, McLaughlin mentioned.

The plan’s draft imaginative and prescient assertion and group values shall be unveiled Nov. 5 throughout a downtown occasion referred to as Porchfest Edmonds. A web site has already been established at

As soon as the draft assertion is accomplished, town will solicit extra group suggestions “to ensure we obtained it proper,” McLaughlin mentioned. The planning course of will proceed by 2023, with draft plan paperwork developed towards the tip of that yr, and the ultimate plan paperwork adopted by the tip of 2024.

The council additionally:

– Heard a presentation relating to the Metropolis of Edmonds Stormwater Administration Motion Plan (SMAP) to fulfill federal stormwater allow necessities. (The identical info was introduced in our earlier story here.)

– Authorized amendments to town’s bicycle parking code relating to e-bike parking and design requirements for short-term storage racks.

An agenda merchandise relating to deliberate updates to town’s worker reimbursement coverage was postponed to a future date.

—  By Teresa Wippel












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