City Council reverses Architectural Design Board’s OK of Point Edwards project

After two hours of discussion, the Edmonds City Council reversed the City Architectural Design Board’s approval of plans for Building Number 10, a five-story, 85-unit apartment building proposed for the Point Edwards development. In this matter, the council served as a quasi-judicial body in hearing the appeals of several citizens.

Councilmembers considered seven different issues in which the ADB had made decisions and concluded that they were “clearly erroneous” and justified reversing the approval.

The items included:
1. Number of living units exceeded the density allowed by code
2. The determination of compliance with building heights was in error
3. Provisions for parking were not compliant
4. The mass of the building was not in compliance with codes and the surrounding area
5. The proposed lighting had two high of an impact
6. The landscaping was insufficient to shield the building
7. The buildings construction, set into the hillside, was outside of code

Each of these items was voted separately and determined by the council to have been erroneously handled. In addition, the entire Architectural Design Board approval was overturned as a result of the decision on these seven issues.

On all seven items, four councilmembers — Lora Petso, Diane Buckshnis, Joan Bloom and Adrienne Fraley-Monillas — voted that the issue had been handled incorrectly while two councilmembers — Strom Peterson and Frank Yamamoto — voted that the ADB was correct The remaining councilmember, Kristiana Johnson, voted with Peterson and Yamamoto on three of the issues, abstained on two and voted with Petso, Buckshnis, Bloom and Fraley-Monillas on the other two.

The vote to overturn the ADB decision was also four to three, with Peterson, Yamamoto and Johnson voting in opposition.

Carol Morris, the land use attorney hired to oversee the hearing, will present to the council her list of facts and findings on Dec. 3. At that point, a final vote will be taken to confirm Tuesday night’s action.

Also on Tuesday, the Council voted to approve a declaration of emergency that waived the requirement for competitive bids for street repairs on 76th Avenue West in Perrinville. These repairs are needed before wintertime arrives, and are the result of a conflict between the City of Lynnwood and their contractor over work on a new sewer line. The City of Lynnwood has agreed to reimburse Edmonds for the cost of these emergency repairs.

The council then retreated to executive session, followed by committee meetings to end the evening.

— By Harry Gatjens