County Council is taking its business to Maltby

The town is the third meeting site the council has scheduled this year outside Everett.

MALTBY — Snohomish County government is coming to a place where people often have felt left out.

A meeting Monday evening at the Brightwater treatment plant in Maltby is the third the County Council has scheduled this year outside its usual gathering spot in Everett. Neighbors in this unincorporated area just north of the county line have been upset of late about zoning and code issues in an industrial area that’s uncomfortably close to residential neighborhoods. Worsening traffic is a headache on Highway 522 and on arterials leading to it. A 360-unit apartment complex proposed on Paradise Lake Road could make gridlock worse.

“I really want the people of Maltby and Clearview to know we care about them and that we are bringing county government to them,” said Councilman Sam Low, who represents the area as part of District 5. “I’m like a firefighter: I’d rather be running toward the problem than running away from it.”

Not all developments in the area are getting a negative reaction. The county is preparing a new regional park on the site of the former Carousel Ranch.

The council meeting is set for 6 p.m. Monday at the Brightwater Environmental Education and Community Center on 22505 Highway 9. County planning, public works and parks directors are expected there.

The County Council has conducted other meetings this year in Edmonds and Tulalip.

Unlike local city councils, which typically meet on weeknights, the County Council does most of its business on weekday mornings. That makes attendance tricky for people with day jobs.

Voters in 2016 approved a requirement for the council to conduct at least one evening meeting in each of the five council districts each year. The meetings started in 2017.

Attendance has been paltry so far, but that could change next week, given a raft of ongoing concerns.

The County Council a year ago tweaked some land-use rules for the Maltby commercial and industrial area along stretches of Highway 522, Broadway Avenue and Maltby Road. Among other moves, they tightened restrictions on nighttime and early-morning activities to limit the impact on noise on nearby homeowners. Many locals believe the county could do more to blunt the impact of the poorly delineated industrial zone.

The same area saw a major code-enforcement violation over the summer, when crews building a new factory for truck-building company OSW Equipment & Repair started earthwork before the county had approved a grading permit. The company resumed work this year at the site along Broadway Avenue near Yew Way. Before getting approval to restart, the company paid a $1,500 settlement to the county and a $12,700 permit penalty, said Michael Dobesh, a county permitting manager.

Some neighbors now have questions about what will happen at the nearby facility OSW plans to leave once the new one is finished. County planners are reviewing a proposal for a marijuana growing and processing facility with more than 100,000 square feet of interior space. A project description estimates up to 60 workers per shift at the facility, if it gets up and running.

Noah Haglund: Twitter: @NWhaglund.

Attend a meeting

Three upcoming Snohomish County Council meetings are scheduled in the evening outside of Everett, in an attempt to make it easier for people throughout the county to attend.

Monday, 6 p.m.: Brightwater Environmental Education and Community Center, 22505 Highway 9, Woodinville, WA. This meeting is in District 5, which is represented by Councilman Sam Low.

April 23, 6 p.m.: Weston High School commons, 4407 172nd St. NE, Arlington. That meeting is in District 1, which is represented by Councilman Nate Nehring.

April 30, 6 p.m.: Mountlake Terrace City Council Chambers, 6100 219th St. SW, Suite 200. That one’s in District 4, which Councilman Terry Ryan represents.

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