Edmonds City Council directs staff to investigate possible PUD partnership

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The Edmonds City Council Monday night authorized the city attorney and staff to investigate the potential cost-savings involved in partnering with the Snohomish County Public Utility District as it begins installing fiber optic cable in parts of Edmonds.

Snohomish County PUD is already planning to install its own cable in certain neighborhoods, such as Westgate and Perrinville, and the City of Edmonds could benefit by having PUD workers install the city’s cable at the same time. After hearing a presentation from city staff and PUD representatives, the Council voted 5-0 (with Councilmembers Michael Plunkett and Strom Peterson absent) to gave staff the authority to enter negotiations with the PUD and bring back proposals, including a complete listing of clear idea of breakdowns and costs.

In other action, the council:

– Following a public hearing, voted 5-0 to extend an interim ordinance that allows closed-record administrative appeal of preliminary planned residential development decisions and also prohibits PRDs from using perimeter buffers for their setbacks. The extension was necessary to give the City’s Planning Board additional time to complete its study of the issue and make a recommendation for Council action. In a related vote, the Council decided 4-1 to ask the Planning Board to separate the two issues addressed in the ordinance — the administrative appeal and the perimeter buffers — in hopes of speeding up action on buffers. (Councilmember Wilson said he couldn’t support the measure because he didn’t have enough information on the rationale for separating the two issues.)

-Listened to a report from city staff regarding proposed updates to the land use permit review procedures contained in the Edmonds Community Development Code.

– Presented a resolution and plaque to recent Edmonds-Woodway High School graduate Graham Marmion, who for the past year has served as the council’s student representative. Marmion thanked the council for the opportunity to participate and said his experience confirmed his interest in a future political career. As such, he will be attending Western Washington University and majoring in political science, and plans to run for the Edmonds City Council some day.

The Council also heard a presentation from Sustainable Works, a non-profit funded by $4 million from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to help homeowners across the state with energy audits and home retrofits that will reduce energy use while also creating jobs. The group’s goal is to audit 300 homes in the Edmonds/Lynnwood area, with a focus on moderate-income households. Those wanting more information on the program can visit the Sustainable Works website or call 206-575-2252.

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