City Council approves rezone of properties at 56th Ave. W and 236th St. SW. intersection

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City-of-MLT-logoThe Mountlake Terrace City Council unanimously approved two ordinances that in effect rezoned property at the intersection of 56th Ave. W and 236th St. SW.

The 7-0 vote to amend the 2014 Comprehensive Plan and Town Center Subarea Plan Building Prototypes Map and to concurrently amend the zoning map for consistency followed a public hearing on both issues at Monday’s City Council meeting.

The existing designation of the properties on the four corners of the intersection already allows mixed-use buildings up to five stories in height, similar to the recently completed building, Arbor Village, on the southeast corner of 56th Ave. W. and 236th St. SW. The ordinances extended that designation for the entire block.

What the passage of the ordinances the existing land use designations were changed from a mix of four different designations to a single designation. The designations for 17 properties changes from allowing three and four story mixed-use and/or two-three story live/work or townhome development to allow only mixed-use buildings between three and five stories in height on all four corners of the intersection for the full depth of the block.

This represents a one or two-story height increase for the affected properties. The change would make each of the quadrants on the intersection similar in total land area as the Arbor Village project. The ordinances do not allow for townhouses development. The land now must have only mixed-use buildings.

A number of councilmember expressed concerns about having or updating design standards for the buildings. Community and Economic Development Director Steve Osguthorpe said that because of other work, City staff plans to address design standards during the first quarter of 2015.

Osguthorpe added that he was confident that “many of the issues raised we can address with current standards and knowing the desired outcome. We will do the best at the staff level to achieve those outcomes.”

Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore described the intersection as a “gateway to our downtown” and added that the City needs to “build it as nicely as we can.”

In other council business.

– City Manager Arlene Fisher gave an overview of the proposed 2015-16 Biennial Budget. Fisher stressed that it was a draft budget and there will be changes along the way. While the economy is improving, Fisher noted that municipalities are always the last to see the revenues.

The proposed budget for the General Fund for 2015 is $23,067,311 and for 2016 is $22,919,941. The contingency (2 percent of General Fund operating expenses) and reserves (5 percent of General Fund operating expenses) are fully funded. The Capital Improvements Fund is projected to be $7.7 million for 2014. The proposed budget for 2015 is $6.6 million and for 2016 is $4.7 million.

Fisher did not go into detail into the various department budgets since they will be making their own presentations before the council.

This is the schedule:

Thursday, Oct. 16: Departmental Presentations for Proposed 2015-2016 Budget

  • City Council/City Manager/Community Relations
  • Administrative Services
  • Public Works
  • Community & Economic Development

Thursday, Oct.  23: Departmental Presentations for Proposed 2015-2016 Budget Special

  • Parks Services
  • Property Management
  • Recreation Services
  • Public Safety (Police, Municipal Court, Fire)
  • Engineering Services

Thursday, Oct. 30: Review Proposed 2015-2016 Biennial Budget Work Session

Monday, Nov. 3:  Public Hearing on 2015-2016 Proposed Budget

Public Hearing on Property Tax Levy

– In a brief presentation on the 2015-16 Revenue Estimates and Six-Year Financial Forecast, Finance Director Sonja Springer noted that recreation program operating revenues are forecast in 2014 through 2016 to be approximately $268,000 lower per year than the revised 2014 budget. The 2015-16 aquatics revenues are forecast to be more in line with actual 2014 revenues, which account for the largest decrease in the revenue budget.

– The Council issued a proclamation that Oct. 6-12 is Naturopathic Medicine Week. The proclamation read in part that “Naturopathic Medicine Week promotes awareness and recognizes the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care.”

At last week’s work session, the council issued a proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The proclamation read in part “The City of Mountlake Terrace encourages all residents to take a stand against domestic violence in their personal relationships and in our community.”

– The council approved the award of the contract for the Lakeside Apartments Pedestrian Accessibility Improvements project to Trinity Contractors, Inc. The amount is $59,410.

– By David Pan

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