Council OKs temporary Edmonds ‘grab-and-go’ parking spots to aid restaurants

With just Mayor Mike Nelson and two councilmembers present on the dais and the rest calling in by telephone, the Edmonds City Council met for about an hour Tuesday to consider three items related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The agenda had been shortened considerably from the one issued last Friday, to accommodate the speaker phone arrangement that allowed five councilmembers to call in by phone — and thus practice social distancing now recommended by health authorities to slow the virus’ spread.

Next week — thanks to action from the council Tuesday night — all councilmembers and the mayor will use Go2Meeting software to conduct their meetings remotely for the foreseeable future.

Under the unanimously-approved plan, all council meetings will be live-streamed and recorded for future viewing on the city website and cable channels, as they are currently. The council chambers will be open to the public during the recording process so they can follow the proceedings if they don’t have a television or computer at home. But the only staff person in the council chambers will be a person running the equipment; councilmembers and mayor will be participating remotely via their city-issued electronic devices.

In addition, no in-person public testimony will be taken. Instead, those wishing to comment will be encouraged to send written comments — either via email or letter.

“The whole point of this is trying to keep people at home,” City Attorney Jeff Taraday explained.

In other action Tuesday night, the council approved by a 7-0 vote an emergency ordinance that Nelson proposed to provide immediate relief to Edmonds businesses impacted by Gov. Jay Inslee’s ban on onsite food and beverage services. The ordinance allows the city to temporarily designate selected existing on-street parking spaces as 15-minute “grab and go” spots — aimed at accommodating quick pick-up of orders from local restaurants and cafés.

The ordinance was originally drafted to apply to downtown Edmonds businesses, but the council approved an amendment by Councilmember Vivian Olson to broaden the measure by striking mentions of downtown. In that way, the city has the flexibility to meet the needs of businesses citywide if necessary, Olson said.

Finally, the council approved by a 7-0 vote a resolution updating the city’s communicable disease/illness policy for its employees. The policy update includes requirements related to employees reporting if they have a communicable disease and the city’s response to that information.

— Story and photos by Teresa Wippel

  1. Great idea for “grab and go” parking spots. Our restaurants need all the help they can get. And kudos to Councilmember Olson for amending to city-wide, not just the downtown. Great work Council and Mayor! I hope many people take advantage of this opportunity and support our restaurants during this difficult time.

  2. Edmonds Library needs to add “grab and go” for hold items … it would be easy to put shelves in lobby w/check-out station and have the door to library locked .. ONLY THE LOBBY ACCESSIBLE EASY SOLUTION TO GET SERVICES FROM TAXPAYER EMPLOYEES ..GET ON IT!!

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