Public hearing to address building heights in Edmonds

  • Shanti Hahler<br>Edmonds Enterprise editor
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:41am

EDMONDS — Fire up the coffee pot – it could be a long one.

The Edmonds City Council is scheduled to host a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15 in Council Chambers on what could be considered the number one topic on everyone’s mind: downtown building heights.

“We’re expecting to hear a lot of public comment, and it will probably go well into the evening,” Mayor Gary Haakenson said.

While council members have the authority to request additional public hearings on the issue, Tuesday’s meeting is the last one scheduled.

The topic of downtown building heights comes to the Council amidst many others wrapped up in the city’s Comprehensive Plan. However, the proposal to increase building heights in the commercial business zone of downtown Edmonds has brought more citizens to the stand during previous planning board and city council meetings than perhaps any other portion of the plan. Opinions voiced range from supporting increased building heights to encourage economic growth, to opposing them in an effort to keep the “small town” feel of the area.

The proposal on the table Feb. 15 specifically would include allowing downtown building heights to be raised by 36 inches as long as the design of the building is modified so that it includes a 36 inch setback at street level. City officials say this regulation will allow buildings to be taller and include two stories of residential above one story of commercial space without greatly affecting the shorter appearance of buildings to those walking and driving the streets.

“This is the topic that will generate the most conversation,” Haakenson said.

However, a decision regarding the building height proposal might not be made that night.

“Based on the Council’s deliberative style, I don’t think that they would reach a decision that night,” Haakenson said. “I think they will be more inclined to get all the public testimony in.”

Talk to us