Big awards year for Mountlake Terrace land use

  • By Oscar Halpert Enterprise editor
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:40pm

The city of Mountlake Terrace has won two major awards this year for land-use planning and growth management.

It’s the first time the city has won either award.

In April, the city was one of only six winners of the Vision 2040 Award, presented by the Puget Sound Regional Council to private and public organizations that a committee made up of state and municipal officials decide have best promoted livability in the Puget Sound region.

On June 25, city officials attending the annual Association of Washington Cities conference in Spokane were presented with the governor’s 2009 Smart Communities Award for creation and implementation of its Town Center Plan.

“The choices we’re making, when it comes to housing and community development, are in line with the community’s values,” said city manager John Caulfield. “Basically, these two awards, I think, show that we’re doing it right.”

Mayor Jerry Smith said it’s the first time the city’s won such major awards apart from financial reporting and excellence on its recreation programs.

“It’s a really big deal,” he said.

Mountlake Terrace was one of 21 nominees for the governor’s award. Other winning cities included Walla Walla, Hoquiam, Everett and Puyallup.

The Puget Sound Regional Council makes policy decisions on planning, transportation and development for a multi-county area that includes King, Pierce, Kitsap and Snohomish counties.

Mountlake Terrace was one of six winners of its Vision 2040 Award for the city’s Housing Choices Program.

As part of its mission, the PSRC has put together broad-based growth projections through 2040. Those projections include analyses of ways the region can adapt to growth.

A nine person selection committee, chaired by Seattle City Councilwoman Sally Clark, picked five winning applicants from a pool of dozens.

Other winners included the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, for its Kitsap Telework Pilot Project; the Port of Everett, for the Mount Baker Terminal project; Artspace Projects, Inc., for Artspace Hiawatha Lofts; the city of Fife, for Fife Valley Road; and South Seattle Community College, for its Georgetown Campus.

Mountlake Terrace’s Housing Choices Program, adopted in 2008, set up a land-use framework to allow a range of housing choices, from apartments and condominiums, to cottage housing, mixed-use living and single family homes.

Clark said the city has shown that it is “proactive” in its efforts to plan for the future.

“What I heard people talking about at the selection committee was here’s a smaller community that really is looking to the future and trying to mold development in a way that is really human-centered and in a way that many communities have missed,” Clark said. “Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t find land use regulations sexy, but it’s through those plans that you’re signaling out what you want to be when you grow up.”

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