Council rules on heights

  • Sue Waldburger<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:43am

Building heights in much of Edmonds’ downtown business core will be lower than they currently are if recommendations made by the city council June 14 are adopted.

The marathon work session resulted in a slew of recommended revisions to the Edmonds Comprehensive Plan, especially the sections dealing with building heights. They now will be sent to the planning board where revisions will be put through the public process before being returned to the council for a final vote.

In the end, the council voted to subzone the business/commercial zone to allow building heights of 25 to 30 feet in about one-half of downtown and up to 33 feet in the other half.

The highest rooftops could be south and west of the downtown retail core. Councilman Jeff Wilson was among those leading the successful charge for requiring “incentives” such as roof-top decks and wide sidewalks that could “earn” the developer of a 25-foot-high building up to eight more feet.

If the council has its way, heights in the “preservation” or historic area north of downtown will be capped at 25 feet. The same goes for the Fifth Avenue and Main Street corridor.

Uphill of Fifth Avenue and Main Street an area permitting heights of up to 30 feet was agreed upon by the council.

Nearly all the crucial votes during the 3 1/2-hour meeting ended in a 4-3 split.

The majority was composed of council president Richard Marin, Peggy Olson, Wilson and Mauri Moore. Holders of the shorter straws were Deanna Dawson, Michael Plunkett and Dave Orvis.

The recommendations should show up on the agenda of the planning board by summer, guessed Moore. Plunkett said he wouldn’t be surprised if it was four to six months before final versions of proposed changes to the comprehensive plan were voted upon by the council.

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