Residential density expansion on our doorstep | Guest View

Parking meeting Thursday at City Hall in Edmonds
By Mike McMurray | Aug 05, 2019
Courtesy of: Cosmos Development An artist’s rendering of a planned 18-story apartment building in Lynnwood at the former location of Toys R Us.

Density expansion and future traffic impacts within a 6-mile radius of Edmonds’ downtown and waterfront is growing at an unprecedented level.

It’s been said that the Puget Sound region has not seen this acceleration of population growth in nearly 100 years. Edmonds is a small, 18-square-mile seaside town, not a mega-urban metropolitan area.

The fact is, despite Edmonds leadership’s best efforts to address Edmonds parking concerns with creative solutions, we cannot control the surrounding communities of Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and Shoreline from their aggressive transformation into urban-style density communities using vast up-zoning and expansion strategies.

Here is a breakdown of just a few of the projects planned and currently under construction. Many are within a quick five-minute drive into Edmonds, and some within Edmonds’ boundaries.

Mountlake Terrace

Breaking ground this summer, Building 1 of the Terrace Station development is a six-story, 470,000 square-foot, mixed-use building. Comprised of 258 residential units, Building 1 has two levels of underground parking and 58,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.

This building is the first of three planned. The completed development will bring 600 residential units to the city, all close to I-5, the Transit Station, and the light rail service coming in 2024. Building 1 is due for completion in 2020.

Lynnwood

Light rail is coming and will bring unbelievable growth to Lynnwood, with about two dozen construction projects currently in the works to start the density expansion; the city is preparing for 17,000-22,000 new residents.

Lynnwood has been identified as one of 16 “core cities” in the state by the Puget Sound Regional Council. Core cities are expected to accommodate a much larger share of future Seattle and state’s population growth

Less than a quarter mile away, just these two recognizable recent projects along I-5 will create 655 units and can easily house 400 cars, within 5.2 miles of downtown Edmonds with a straight travel trajectory by using 196th into the heart of downtown Edmonds.

Three-hundred-and-forty-nine residential units will be located in an 18-story, mixed-use building formerly at the site of Toys R Us near Alderwood Mall, location. 6.2 miles away from downtown Edmonds, with 395 estimated parking spaces included.

Shoreline

Shoreline Place, with 1,340 residential units, will be located at the old Sears location, 5.8 miles from downtown Edmonds. There will be an estimated 1,000 cars at this location.

Edmonds

The new 234th Street SW apartments will have 205 residential units and 233 parking stalls, with plans for five levels of residential space above two floors of parking, 3.3 miles from downtown Edmonds. The estimated number of cars at this facility is 233.

The Village at Westgate development, which is now open, has 91 residential units on three floors. Parking is $25 unassigned or $75 for underground spaces, per month, for residents. It is 2.2 miles away from downtown Edmonds. The estimated number of cars at this facility is 110.

In addition, a pre-application has been submitted for the construction of two, six-story residential buildings over a common two-story parking garage, on Highway99 in Edmonds near Safeway.

The estimated number of cars at this facility is 612; the site is 3.3 miles from downtown Edmonds.

Thoughts/ideas/suggestions

Just these few planned and current residential project example represent 3,250 estimated new cars within the coming years in close proximity or within our town’s borders. Where will these new residents/visitors park their cars when they choose to drive into Edmonds?

It is very promising that our City Council and staff leadership are asking the public for feedback regarding parking challenges in our town. However, in looking at the recent parking survey release, it seems to lack acknowledgment of future growth outlined here, and is only emphasizing downtown parking enforcement and management of current parking supply as the focus of the desired feedback requested by our residents.

With this great opportunity to engage the public and ask for input, some in the community, including myself, would like to add the question if the public would be open to expanding the parking supply itself as a possible solution?

I have heard many say, and I agree, that a large parking garage is ugly, too expensive and does not make sense for Edmonds.

Instead of that, how about discussing the possibility of a boutique, two-story parking garage of only 100-120 spaces? It could not only be more to-scale of our town, but more economically feasible and would be a great addition to our town’s impeding and surrounding growth pressures.

The $4 million to $6 million dollars might be a fair investment to help alleviate some of the growing parking concerns that are logically coming our way. I have also heard from many residents that disabled parking is very limited in our town, and this could solve that problem as well as be much more accessible than the parallel parking spots all over town that we have now.

The people and leadership who believe that parking is not the City’s business should be aware that we are giving large tax credits and/or abatements and accommodating zoning to encourage more population that will bring new cars and traffic flows into our downtown and neighborhoods, so how is parking not the concern of the entire city when they allow more density without properly planning complementing infrastructure?

The fact that the City has prioritized the Senior Center project and Civic Park conversion; it should add to the urgency of finding more parking solutions with these two added benefits to Edmonds in the future coming online in the coming years.

Imagine a boutique parking structure of only two levels, with maybe some growth panels and local art murals?

We are also the first Creative District in Washington state, so won’t more visitors be coming?

I encourage residents to attend the parking meeting 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, in the Brackett Room of City Hall.

The $91,000 estimated for a parking study could be better directed towards a parking fund itself, to be used to fund such ideas as the recent trolley expansion service.


 

Mike McMurray is a local developer who has plans for Edmonds Crossing at Sixth Avenue South and Main Street. The Beacon has verified facts and figures in McMurray’s piece.

The Beacon asked McMurray about his own parking ideas for Sixth and Main.

He replied: “Parking is not required in BD1 zone in Edmonds, but I have included eight spaces along with four new public spaces created along Sixth in design. The current zoning for the parcel is around a half-acre, and has no setback requirement; the City allows 95% of that parcel to be developed with only 5% left as open spaces and height of up to 30 feet.

"My family and I are leaving around 35% of the parcel as open public space, including planning three large trees to be installed along with other Northwest plantings similar to Hazel Miller Plaza and Salish Crossing."

 

 

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