By KATE REARDON
EVERETT — Residents told city planning commissioners at a meeting late Thursday they want more time to digest a 400-plus page document that will guide how the city’s shorelines will look in coming years.
"I would like to see it at a little slower pace for true citizen involvement," said Gail Chism, a Lowell resident.
Planning commissioners said they strongly urge community members to contribute thought-out, written information that will help in making changes to the document.
The planning commission hopes to make a recommendation on the document to the city council by the end of the year. Commissioners agreed that time line is not set in stone and can be changed if there’s good reason.
For about two years, a volunteer shoreline committee worked on updates to the 1976 city shoreline plan. Now, proposed changes to the state-mandated document is in the planning commissions hands. The vision includes and identifies areas for public access, economic development and environmental restoration.
The city council and then the state Department of Ecology must sign off on a final plan.
For more than 20 years the city has used a shoreline program to help guide shoreline use and preservation. The program provides development standards and citizen comment periods specifically for projects proposed for shoreline areas such as Possession Sound, the Snohomish River and Silver Lake.
The Shoreline Management Act of 1971 requires cities and counties to develop a shoreline permit system for proposed development within 200 feet of designated water, an inventory of natural characteristics and land-use patterns along the shoreline, and a master program to determine future uses of the shorelines.
The vision focuses on the Port of Everett marina area, north of the 10th Street boat launch and west of Highway 529, Smith and Spencer islands, the Riverside industrial area in northeast Everett, the riverfront south of U.S. 2, the former Mukilteo jet fuel storage site, the deep-water port area, Lake Stickney, Silver Lake and Rotary Park on the Snohomish River.
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