Edmonds Planning Board to review Port’s Harbor Square request

The Edmonds Planning Board Wednesday night will review a request by the Port of Edmonds to incorporate the Port’s Harbor Square Master Plan into the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

The port has proposed a mixed-use development that would include the possibility of allowing building heights up to five stories tall on the site of the current Harbor Square Business Complex property.

The Planning Board agenda notes that the request “is not for a rezone and is not a project level proposal. However, incorporating the Port’s Harbor Square Master Plan into the Comprehensive Plan would lay the foundation for a future rezone and/or development agreement.”

The Harbor Square property is currently zoned General Commercial (CG), which was completed through a contract rezone in 1980. It limits Harbor Square to commercial use, with no residential use allowed. In addition, the rezone established a height limit of 35 feet.

The Harbor Square Master Plan submitted to the City for inclusion in the Comprehensive Plan envisions a mixed‐use transit oriented development that would be predominantly residential housing plus retail, commercial, office and public uses. A redeveloped Harbor Square consistent with the Master Plan could provide 340 to 358 residential units, 50,400 square feet of retail, 9,784 square feet of office, 123,410 square feet of recreational health club uses (including tennis courts), 3.8 acres of public open space and 1,091 spaces of off‐street parking.

The Master Plan also envisions buildings up to five stories high, with 35-foot buildings proposed along the State Route 104/Dayton Street intersection, buildings of 45 feet proposed along Dayton Street and 55-foot buildings (five stories) located at
the far southern edge of the site.

This is an introductory item only with a public hearing at a later date. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 250 Fifth Ave. N.

  1. The Environmental Checklist prepared March 29, 2012 as required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) indicates that the current zoning classification for the Harbor Square site is General Commercial with a contract rezone referred to as R-1979-4. I’ll see if I can find this contract online. One thing I am curious about is what the contract states related to rezones.

    The Harbor Square site appears to be the only “ General Commercial” zone in town other than that up along Highway 99. General Commercial zoning can be valuable to a City and hopefully this will be given proper consideration before this zoning is changed.

    The Environmental Checklist document indicates that the proposed action, known as the Harbor Square Redevelopment Master Plan-An Amendment to the Port of Edmonds Master Plan, “represents the third phase of a multi-phased program to amend both the Port’s Master Plan and the City’s Comprehensive Plan. At such time that the Port amends its Master Plan, the City considers and favorably acts on the Port’s request for an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan and a subsequent rezone enabled by the amendment, the Port will then entertain development proposals that will substantially implement the vision and design concepts set out in the Redevelopment Plan.”

    A few question I have for anybody reading this post are as follows: Is this the normal procedure to pursue a rezone? Are rezones typically enabled by amendments to the Comprehensive Plan? What were phase one and phase two of this multi-phased program to amend both the Port’s Master Plan and the City’s Comprehensive Plan?

    I am concerned that the City Council may find it very difficult to not approve such rezone after so much time and money has been spent on both a Port Master Plan amendment as well as a Comprehensive Plan amendment.

    I haven’t spent much time researching this, so I may simply be ignorant as to how this process works. Any help would be appreciated.

    Another item I am curious about is whether or not any rights related to a rezone can vest BEFORE the City Council approves a rezone.

  2. Found an answer to one of my questions:

    Phase 1 was to prepare a generalized fiscal impact analysis of site redevelopment scenerios. This is shown as complete.

    Phase 2 was to perform an extensive outreach program to define the community’s preferred use, connections, and design principles for the Harbor Square Redevelopment Plan. This is also shown as complete.

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