From the Edmonds Mayor: So you think you’re busy…

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Mayor Dave Earling

A month ago I mentioned a few large projects in Edmonds which were under construction this summer. They included a new major facility for Magic Toyota, the Madrona Elementary school, and the next phase of the old Post Office site with 22 apartments, a first floor restaurant, and retail and office space.

Very large projects to be sure. So also knowing how busy the second floor of City Hall has been, I decided to better understand the breadth and depth of the load our planning, building and engineering staff are carrying. In several conversations with staff, the large list of projects grew and grew. The following list of construction projects even took me aback. In short, construction in Edmonds is booming.

Keep in mind the following are projects in various stages, which run the gamut from application, to permit review and approval, to construction, to inspection, to completion… in other words, these projects are somewhere in the “pipeline”.

1)     Cedar Creek Memory Care, under construction near our Public Works Facility on 71st & 210t

2)     Building 10 at Point Edwards under constructio

3)     The aforementioned 22 apartments and retail at the old Post Office site.

4)     Graphite Studios at 2nd and Main, with artist studios, restaurant and 4 apartments.

5)     The aforementioned Magic Toyota project and

6)     Madrona Elementary construction.

7)     Edmonds Apartments on 244th SW (one nine-unit building and one 10 unit)

8)     Westgate Village mixed-use bldg. at 100th and SR 104 with 91 units above retail.

9)     Doug’s Mazda – new sales building, addition to service building, addition to the Hyundai building, and two-story parking garage.

10) Beach Walk Apartments at 3rd and Edmonds St.

11) 14 detached condos on 212th near Edmonds-Woodway High School

12) Port of Edmonds Marine retail (in design review}

13) There are 60, yes 60, new single-family homes permitted in the city. (Including #11 above.) And another 19 are under review for permit.

From Highway 99, to Westgate, to Five Corners, to Downtown — Edmonds is simply a reflection of the growth experienced in many other communities around Puget Sound fueled by the growth in well-paying jobs and historically low interest rates. We have all heard the raw numbers of the region’s expected growth, with 220,000 people moving into Snohomish County alone, and nearly a million new residents joining us in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties by 2035. Pierce and Snohomish counties are the first and second fastest growing counties in the nation!

As I talk to folks around our community, I continue to hear anecdotal reports of their friends from other communities indicating how much they enjoy Edmonds’ energy, vitality, activities and natural beauty. We are having success in our efforts to focus Edmonds as a daytime visitor destination.

We enjoy a wonderful “small town” setting where you can go for a walk on the beach, enjoy a meal in a fine restaurant, shop at small friendly retail businesses, or see a show at a one of a handful of performance venues. When people want to escape the hub-bub of Seattle or the east side of Lake Washington for a “small town experience,” Edmonds is becoming a popular choice.

While I know many of us watch with concern as some of these changes take place, the City Council and I are committed to maintaining our small-scale downtown and the amazing spirit of our city. There is boundless opportunity for vast improvement along Highway 99, in Westgate and other areas. We must continue to guide change and not allow growth to trample us.

The dynamics are fast and furious on the second floor of City Hall. With staff working hard on many fronts, they remain committed to maintaining a level of high quality professionalism. They are doing a great job and deserve our thanks.

— By Dave Earling, Edmonds Mayor

7 COMMENTS

  1. Edmonds has become a hopping place, if the parking situation is any measure. I had intended to shop at the Saturday market today, but there were no parking spots within range for the time I had available. I know parking garages can be ugly and expensive to build. However, with enough lead time, maybe an architect can design something decent and cheap enough that people shopping downtown can park for a modest fee. As an interim measure, how about a parking lot (assuming there are any properties available!) on the outskirts with a shuttle into and out of downtown.

    • Thank you for bringing this up! As a long-time resident of Edmonds (came here in ’61) I have loved how the town has developed into the vibrant place it now is – but as someone who is walking impaired, I am finding it harder and harder to find a place to park within my walking distance when I want to visit a restaurant or shop. I wish the council would address this issue, which is not going to do anything but become more acute. I don’t profess to know the answer, but I find I use downtown less these days, simply because I often can’t find a place to park!

      • Some initial things have been done to help allocate the scarce down town parking stalls.
        1. We now have a enforcement person to help with compliance.
        2. We have marked some streets with tick marks to help drivers use the existing space more efficiently.
        3. Employee permit parking has been push away from the DT core a bit more to open up some spaces for all near the core.
        4. The local business community is working on some ideas and signage to allow parking on there sites after hours.
        The estimate is 1-3 has produced 30 plus added spaces. Number 4 could help with added space after houses.

        These were interim steps and a review is planned before the end of the year to see what can be done to better utilize the scarce stalls down town. We could always consider some sort of parking garage but where would we put it. Such a garage would be expensive, the current estimate is $30,000 per stall. So a 50 stall garage would cost $1.5m or so. Where would the funding come from of a garage and if we had paid parking in a garage then we may have to charge for street parking as well to help allocate the spaces. Reducing the time limit would increase churn and effectively make better use of the stalls so long as we did the added enforcement to help with compliance. Tough problem to be such a popular town with lots of visitors and locals seeking downtown parking.

  2. Since we are becoming little Seattle, how about parking meters? Lots of them…Think of the revenue it would bring!

    –tongue in cheek…

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