City plans a grand entry

EVERETT — Housing is in, car lots are out.

Those, in a nutshell, are key recommendations included in a sweeping plan to rezone about three well-traveled miles along Broadway from 41st Street through downtown all the way to the far north end of the city.

Broadway is an important, and in parts scruffy, gateway into Everett’s reawakening waterfront, downtown and riverfront districts, where millions of public dollars are being spent.

For years, city planners have sought to raise the bar for design standards along Broadway. Now, they’re hoping to also encourage the development of apartments and condos along the street, to help the city meet its housing goals.

“This is an area where we’d like to encourage a mix of residential, co mmercial and retail,” said Allen Giffen, Everett’s ­planning director.

The Everett Planning Commission is scheduled at 6:30 tonight to review the proposed changes at a public workshop.

Planning staff and consultants are scheduled to present basic concepts of proposed new design standards and regulations, including: new landscaping and lighting requirements; phasing out car-sales lots; allowing taller buildings; and prohibiting freestanding signs taller than 8 feet.

Residents and property owners are encouraged to attend and participate in the workshop, which will feature discussions of alternatives, policies and recommendations for the redevelopment of the Broadway corridor.

“It sounds like they’re trying to make it more like downtown Seattle,” said Tammi Brady, an Everett resident walking out of Starbucks on Broadway with a friend Monday afternoon. “I suppose it could be a good thing. Downtown Everett could use a boost.”

Changes are already taking place on both ends of Broadway.

On the north end near Everett Community College last month, crews began demolishing the Topper Motel, a boarded-up eyesore that was shut down in 2005, when the state revoked the motel’s license amid dangerous and unsanitary conditions.

On the south end near Memorial Stadium, the Everett Gateway Center, a new office and retail complex opened to a host of businesses last year.

“I’m really happy that this end of Broadway is cleaning up,” said Jody Hays, a manager with the Buzz Inn Steak House at 3615 Broadway. She gestured at the shopping center where the Starbucks opened a few years ago.

“That over there was crack houses, now it’s a new shopping center. It’s good to have the area growing, rather than deteriorating,” Hays said.

Cameron Westlund, owner of Checkered Flag Motors, a used car lot at 2332 Broadway, said he wants to learn more about the proposed rules, which could force him and a half-dozen other car lots on Broadway out of business.

“I understand they’re trying to make things look better,” he said. “We’re just trying to make a living.”

Planning commission workshop

When: 6:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Everett Station’s Weyerhaeuser Room, 3201 Smith Ave.

What: A meeting looking at remaking Broadway

Learn more: The proposed Broadway Mixed Use Zone can be viewed at or at the Planning Department, 2930 Wetmore Ave., Suite 8A.

Reporter David Chircop: 425-339-3429 or

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