The City of Snohomish planning director has released a project update on the city’s newly created Midtown Planning District. (See pages 69 and 70 of the June 3 Planning Commission meeting’s agenda).
The city created a task force to develop the vacant 9.5 acre county owned parcel and to redevelop already improved properties nearby, putting the residents in the Snohomish Mobile and RV Park at risk of losing their homes.
Snohomish County hired a consultant, the Leland Consulting Group and Otak, to perform a market study of the area. The consultant team’s recommendation, even before the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, recommended the site’s highest and best use would be affordable, two- or three-story, wood-frame, multi-family flats, with a few one-story commercial areas, for example, social services or medical facilities.
The consultant reports “the demand in Snohomish for more office or retail space is very low,” negating the need for “mixed-use” rezoning.
The planning director also reports “it is uncertain when the (mayor’s appointed 13 member) Task Force will meet,” due to the uncertainty of this pandemic.
Therefore, the planning commission should recommend to the council to immediately cancel the Midtown rezone project and disband the task force, saving taxpayers the $70,500 fee earmarked to facilitate the five task force meetings.
In summary, the county consultant’s recommendations can be implemented without a spot rezone of the midtown area. And most importantly, the uprooting of scores of families in the Snohomish Mobile and RV Park would be prevented.