City: Highway 99 plan and code update now in effect

The City of Edmonds’ Highway 99 Area Plan and code update became effective Friday, Aug. 25.

The Edmonds City Council adopted the plan and code on Aug. 18 but, as with most ordinances, the effective date is about 10 days after adoption, the city said in an announcement.

The plan calls for both economic development and housing, especially affordable housing, in the area. Some of this will be “mixed use,” where businesses are on a prominent part of the site and residences are above the business or located on another part of the site. Transit-oriented development, where people living or working nearby can easily use transit, is encouraged. Livability and an attractive environment are key themes for all of this, the announcement said.

“Highway 99 is such an important neighborhood and it needs more attention,” said City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas. “The new plan and code really sets a vision that will help bring things to the next level. I’m excited about opportunities for affordable housing and great places here.”

More walkability and safe transportation are also part of the vision, the city said. Transportation projects that will help transform the corridor over time are identified in the plan.  Already, Edmonds has secured $10 million in state funding to begin Highway 99 work. Of that, $1 million is available this year and will go toward a more detailed design and prioritization study and construction of a selected project.

“I’m eager to get more transportation funding for this area and to see quality development happen,” said Mayor Dave Earling. “This area provides a great deal of business revenues that help support our whole community, and the benefits are likely to keep growing.”

The new development code, which the City Council adopted to implement the plan, calls for combining two types of commercial zoning into one “CG zone” in the Highway 99 area.  In the CG zone, the maximum height is 75 feet.  A small part of the CG zone, around Swedish Edmonds hospital, is allowed greater height, the same as it has in the past.

Design standards to guide development of the site and building are part of the updated code. Electric vehicle charging stations and bicycle storage will be required for any new residential component. The intent is to encourage more environmentally-friendly options for people.

“Citizens in Edmonds have been waiting a long time to see positive changes come to this area,” said Development Services Director Shane Hope. “While some parts now are great, many other parts will be improved based on a vision for vitality and sustainability.”

An information forum will be held later this fall for property owners, agencies and builders who are interested in developing properties in the area, Hope said.

To view the Highway 99 Subarea Plan, the new code and related information, look under “Documents” at:


  1. If this means upgrades of the kind that have happened along the northern part of Aurora, I can’t wait! It will be a wonderful improvement. I imagine the usual “I hate all change” people will complain, but how could anyone complain about the upgrades further south now they are in place?

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