Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Planning Commission openly deliberates on key issues, the Comprehensive Plan

(l-r)  Stephanie Rodriquez, Vidyonana Rajpatkak, Chair Scott Beithan, Vice-Chair Roy Captain, Phil Miller, Sherri Nichols.
 Planning Director Karen Haluza and  two Senior Planners are sitting with backs turned.  
Every year the City offers citizens, developers, property owners and other entities an opportunity to amend (update) the Comprehensive Plan. This amending process is a Planning Commission duty of high significance and importance.

The Planning Commission has been meeting for months to take input and review five re-zoning proposals for consideration of being "calendared" or docketed for further review and approval by the Commission and Council.     

This LINK provides every topic currently under review by the Planning Commission.   It includes docketing proposals, memos, staff recommendations, public/developer comments, exhibits and project approvals. Below are a few topics under review:    

1)  The City is currently proposing to update to their Capital Facilities Element titled   "Future Vision for Redmond - Capital Facilities Element."  The proposal is already docketed and contains a lot of interesting information about the City's future plans. Find it HERE

2)  It's my understanding a proposed "Quadrant Homes" rezone from "Business Park" to "Mixed-Use Development" will be re-docketed.   Quadrant is considering constructing 165 town homes, 300 apartments, and 10,000 s.f. of retail/commercial space on 15.57 acres -- on the SW corner of NE 124th & Willows Road. Installing a stoplight on the corner is in the proposal.  

The N.Y,C. developer
3)  A controversial, long-winded proposal by an aggressive N.Y.C developer, Capital Partners is under consideration by the commission.  The developer wants to rezone 4.21 acres on the corner of Avondale and NE 104th from R-4 to R-30. Staff members (the "TC") are not recommending approval though a rezone to R-12 for senior housing is a possibility.  (It seems the commission usually goes along with many or most of the TC's recommendations.)  

4)   A while back, the owners of Redmond Town Center (RTC) proposed a modification of their "Open Space Designation" agreement with the city.  They have since withdrawn this proposal.  

Interesting background:  A 1997 agreement between the City and RTC conveyed a perpetual, non-inclusive easement to allow "among other things, the right to operate a farmers market"  Presently, the "Saturday Market" is located on this 2-acre easement.  Termination of the Open Space Designation requires a mutual agreement between the City and RTC.  

5)  Susan Wilkins, a Redmond citizen, asked the commission to docket an amendment to the zoning code to "adequately plan school facilities" so students residing inside the City of Redmond are not required to travel outside the Urban Growth Boundary in order to attend school. The Planning Commission voted against the proposal.  Ms. Wilkins put in a ton of work, without pay, to formulate this proposal.  Planning commissioners don't get paid either.  

The commissioners are citizen volunteers living in Redmond, appointed by the Mayor and approved by Council.  They don't make land-use decisions; they conduct Hearings and serve only as an advisory body to Council.  


Disclosure:  Trying to understand the Planning Commission's reviews of complex topics is very challenging.  Expect errors, omissions and mis-representations. 

1 comment:

Susan Wilkins said...

The amendments that I proposed for the 2017-2018 Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code updates:

1.) "Public Schools" should be added to the list of Adequate Public Facilities in the Redmond Zoning Code. (RZC 21.17.010.)

2.) Add "Ensure that adequate public school facilities exist such that students residing inside the City of Redmond are not required to travel outside the Urban Growth Boundary in order to attend school." (LU-14)

3.) Add "Require adequate public elementary, middle and high school facilities inside the Urban Growth Boundary for all students who reside inside the City of Redmond." (EV-14)

4.) Require school districts to provide more information about student needs in their annual capital facilities plans. (CF-17)

What I find shocking is that the Lake Washington School District also submitted two letters opposing all of these amendments. It is difficult to understand why the school district believes that "public schools" should NOT be considered Adequate Public Facilities!