Edmonds Port Report: Latest Harbor Square redevelopment information now online

By Bob McChesney
Executive Director, Port of Edmonds

The most current official information about the Port’s redevelopment project at Harbor Square is now available online.

From day one, there has been a high level of interest in the project. Before passing along the detailed information, let me bring you up to date on where we are and what it all means.

For those who don’t know, the Port of Edmonds owns all the land at Harbor Square and all but two of the buildings. The existing buildings are starting to show signs that the end of their practical life expectancy is — if not in sight — not far beyond it.

Several months ago the elected members of the Port Commission addressed the question of what to do with the property. Rather than to continue to make repairs to buildings approaching the end of their useful life, the Commission decided to begin planning for full-scale redevelopment.

You are undoubtedly already aware of the many public meetings, advisory groups, design concepts and technical studies that have taken place over the last couple of years. And we hope you are also aware that no particular design concept has been selected. In fact, doing so is likely to be quite a long way off; we are still very much in the planning stage.

The overarching vision for the Harbor Square site is to enable phased redevelopment that will be economically feasible, environmentally responsible and designed to the high -quality standards consistent with the community and the City of Edmonds comprehensive plan.

There are several steps yet to be taken before we can even ask developers to present their ideas. Right now we are in the process of seeking the adoption of amendments to the Port’s Master Plan and City’s comprehensive plan.

The four official documents for that process that are now available on the Port of Edmonds website are:

– the New or Expanded Elements of the Port’s Master Plan,

– the Environmental Checklist as required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA),

– the Transportation Technical Report, and

– the Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance.

These documents are not meant to be casual reading. They are detailed and written in legal language. But they are available for anyone who is interested in reading them. Making them available is in keeping with our intention of ensuring that every step of the redevelopment process remains totally transparent.
You can review these four documents (as well as other relevant archives) here.

Under the State Environmental Policy Act non-project review process, comments will be received through June 6, followed by a 15-day appeal period. The SEPA process will be completed by June 21. It is expected that the Port Commission will hold a public hearing at its regular Commission meeting June 25 for amending the Port of Edmonds Master Plan with the Harbor Square redevelopment project.

And please remember that we are always interested in hearing people’s ideas, questions and concerns.

  1. The Port Commission keeps saying that no design plan has been adopted, yet they have gone to the expense of publishing a brochure with a very extensive plan option. I am very much against the height of those buildings. It will completely block the water view of many condos and apartments from about 4th Ave. on down to the waterfront.

    I understand the need to redevelop the property, but please be a good neighbor to those whose views will be eliminated and thereby lower the value of their properties. Is it truly necessary to have additional housing on the waterfront? I can understand the need for businesses and parking for those businesses, but to add to the traffic and congestion with such high-density housing is turning Edmonds into another Kirkland. I left Kirkland for that very reason after living there for 35 years. I don’t want to leave Edmonds. The charm that is Edmonds will be forever gone with that development as it has been presented in the brochure.

  2. While I don’t have a ‘view’ in this matter, I am curious about the likely relocation of about 2 dozen businesses out of this location. Where to they go? When will they need to leave? Or, are the being made part of the Plan? Thanks

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