City looking into study on Edmonds Marsh

Jun 16, 2017

The saga that is the Edmonds Marsh has no end. The city has put out a request for proposals (RFP) for a baseline, scientific study of the 22-acre site adjacent to Harbor Square.

According to Development Services Director Shane Hope, the city hopes to choose a firm for the study to begin this fall.

After years of debate, concessions, controversy and public input, the Washington Department of Ecology approved the Edmonds Shoreline Master Program (SMP) comprehensive update, which the city began in 2006, with an effective date of May 10.

An SMP guides construction and development on local shorelines. Edmonds has six miles of shoreline along Puget Sound, Lake Ballinger and the Edmonds Marsh.

The SMP establishes two approaches for protecting the marsh: No structures may be built within a 110-foot buffer around the marsh and a 15-foot setback from the buffer, and a developer may propose an alternate buffer width based on site-specific ecological studies, subject to City Council review and approval.

Councilmember Dave Teitzel requested that the RFP includes the input of the Tulalip Tribes, who have treaty rights to the eastern shore of Puget Sound, including the marsh. He preferred to include their perspectives around the study in the RFP.

The study results are to serve as an ecological baseline for evaluating future activities that may affect the Edmonds Marsh, and help with a 2019 Shoreline Management Program update.

 

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