The Edmonds City Council decided Tuesday night to spend additional time reviewing the qualifications of finalists for a consultant that will conduct a baseline scientific study of the Edmonds Marsh. That was the consensus after about 20 minutes of discussion during the council’s Tuesday night business meeting.
While the agenda called for the council to vote on the matter, Council President Tom Mesaros said the task force appointed to oversee the process had not yet had a chance to discuss their impressions of the four firms, which were interviewed Monday and Tuesday morning this week.
Mesaros said he would like to schedule a meeting of the task force — which includes himself, Councilmembers Diane Buckshnis and Mike Nelson, plus two city staff members (Development Director Shane Hope and Senior Planner Kernen Lien) in the next two weeks so that the task force can come up with “some sense of direction…for what we’d like to recommend to the council.”
During that process, the task force will put together some additional information that councilmembers can use for comparing the finalists and narrowing the field further. Other councilmembers will be invited to attend, and the meeting will be open to the public, Mesaros said.
It will then be up to the entire council to decide whether to accept the task force recommendation or come up with another alternative, if any, Mesaros said.
Councilmember Mike Nelson noted that three of the four firms interviewed said they would be providing additional information to the task force in the coming days.
A scientific study aimed at establishing 2017 baseline ecological conditions for the Edmonds Marsh was a key element of the council-approved Option M, aimed at addressing the appropriate buffer for the Edmonds Marsh as part of the city’s Shoreline Master Program (SMP). Option M calls for a 110-foot fixed marsh buffer and a 15-foot setback. The option specified that any possible alternate buffer width would be derived from such a site-specific study, and would be subjected to a shoreline conditional use permitting process.