A draft environmental impact statement has been issued for the Freeway/Tourist zoning district of Mountlake Terrace that encompasses commercial property along the east side of I-5, north of 244th Street Southwest and south of 236th Street Southwest. An open house to allow the public to study the statement, ask questions of city staff and make comments is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 13, 6-7 p.m., at the Interim City Hall Council Chambers, 6100 219th St. S.W., Suite 200.
The report analyzes impacts of future development that could occur in the district under special regulations that apply to buildings that go beyond the minimum environmental/energy codes or where other special programs, such as a transfer of development rights program, is used.
About two years ago, the city’s code was amended to set a cap on building height and to require a tree buffer between the commercial zone and single-family zone; until then, height had been virtually unlimited in most parts of the district and no tree buffer was required. The newer code caps height but allows more stories if a transfer of development rights program is used. A transfer of development rights program has not yet been adopted but will be considered in December.
“Transfer of development rights” is when a property owner from a county-designated “sending area,” such as a farm in Snohomish County, allows its development rights to be transferred to a suitable urban area. The transfer allows preservation of farms while prioritizing development opportunities in urban areas under local regulations.
The environmental report for Mountlake Terrace’s Freeway/Tourist District is available online. Public comments on the report are due to City Hall by Nov. 17. A final environmental impact statement is expected to be issued in early December.