Wednesday, January 9, 2019

OPINION: Development of Marymoor Village should pause until Zoning Code is defined

During last night's Study Session on "streamlining zoning and regulations for Senior Housing" Council V.P David Carson recommended "a short pause of about six months" (moratorium) in the development of senior housing so Council can have the opportunity to evaluate certain aspects of the code without risk of further development, so we can trust the Administration in the spirit of our intent."  Mr. Carson proposed an Ordinance to this effect and recommended discussion at the next business meeting.

Marymoor Village Neighborhood:

Image result for Marymoor village images
Marymoor Subarea of SE Redmond
According to the Design Review Board's report on the LMC- Marymoor project the Redmond Zoning Code is silent on how the goal of Marymoor Village will be different from the Downtown neighborhood. The Design Board wrote "it should be funkier, cooler, eclectic, and different looking than Downtown. Thus, these ideas need a great deal of attention from the Design Review Board."

Council is placing trust in the Administration for the development of  Marymoor Village by holding a few community meetings and a Hearing with belief the Design Review Board (DRB) report will suffice. According to the DRB "The Redmond Zoning Code is silent."  A pause in the development of  LMC and the Marymoor neighborhood may be useful until the Redmond Zoning Code is scrutinized by staff and thoroughly studied by Council.

- Bob Yoder
- Gary Lee, Senior Planner, 9/20/18 Design Review report:

"The vision for the Marymoor neighborhood is that it transform into a moderately dense, mixed use neighborhood that will be integrated with the future light rail station and the existing surrounding business uses. A major goal of the City is that this neighborhood be encouraged to transform, over time, into a cool/eclectic neighborhood – with a cool/eclectic identity. As such, [and because this 4.9 acre LMC master plan] may be the first development in the neighborhood, the design of this development will set a tone and stage for future development.

In general, the building’s layout and massing are fine, however some additional road way dedication may be required along NE 70th Street.

Staff finds a few areas that will need attention and detail.  As a primary goal for this neighborhood is that it become a cool/eclectic place, the architecture, and/or some of the primary elements of the development, should exude eclecticism. On the contrary, the goal of the neighborhood is that it be different from the Downtown neighborhood in that it should be funkier, cooler, eclectic, and different looking than Downtown [including the park.]

The Redmond Zoning Code is silent on how these goals/elements are to be achieved. Therefore, much of this will fall to the Design Review Board to establish. Thus, these ideas need a great deal of attention from the Design Review Board. With the goal of encouraging an eclectic neighborhood, exterior facades, materials, and their application will be of great interest in exploring and detailing."

Gary Lee

1 comment:

Rachel Molloy said...

I do hope the Zoning Code and Development planning is starting to take into full account the current and future impacts of sea rise and flooding risk downtown as well. It looks like the levee down there at Marymoor is good until about 20-30' of sea rise and flash flooding risk? The new development is mostly up out of the flood plain regardless...and likely good for the next 50 years at least. (Per NOAA and Climate Central flood risk maps and the US 2018 National Climate Assessment)