Compared to recent meetings, it was a rather quiet night for the Edmonds City Council, and for newly sworn-in Mayor Mike Cooper.
The item that generated the most discussion was the introduction of proposed updates to City of Edmonds State Environmental Policy Act regulations that could potentially allow for increased development along the Medical/Highway 99 Activity Center and the Highway 99 Corridor. The public will have a chance to comment on the updates at the Aug. 3 council meeting.
Several councilmembers expressed concerns that the proposed relaxation of SEPA regulations in those two geographic areas along Highway 99 and near Stevens Hospital could potentially have a negative impact on residential neighborhoods. A motion by Councilmember Michael Plunkett to keep the regulations unchanged was defeated by a 5-2 vote (Councilmember Lora Petso also supporting) but in a subsequent amendment approved by D.J. Wilson, the council agreed to hold two public hearings — one for each geographic area — on Aug. 3.
The council also voted to hold a public hearing Aug. 3 on a proposal for the November general election ballot that would raise the motor vehicle licensing fee that Edmonds residents now pay from $20 to $60. Proceeds from the fee would be used to support 37 separate traffic and pedestrian safety projects in Edmonds.
Councilmember Diane Buckshnis reported that the first meeting of the 2010 Citizens Levy Committee will be this Thursday from 6-8 p.m. in the Brackett Room at City Hall. The committee will conduct a review of the city’s general fund and also take a look at city financial policies, capital projects and the salaries and FTEs of comparable cities, Buckshnis said.