Everett's New Downtown Plan Ready for Scrutiny

A public hearing offers a chance to analyze the zoning changes proposed by the "Metro Everett" downtown plan.

2 minute read

June 7, 2018, 2:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Suburban Seattle

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"Everett has an ambitious city center planning proposal that has been circulating city hall for more than two years," reports Stephen Fesler. "Known as 'Metro Everett,' the proposal would rezone large swaths of the city center and nearby areas while pairing extensive development regulations to realize modern, integrated urban districts."

Planetizen picked up news about Metro Everett back in 2016, but the plan reached a major milestone this week when the city's Planning Commission held a public hearing on some of the code changes included in the plan. According to Fesler, "the plans have to get the commission’s buy-off before an ordinance would be transmitted to the city council for consideration."

The Planning Commission hearing means a new draft of the plan is available for perusal, resembling a draft version released in January. Fesler gives analysis of the zones proposed for the plan, Urban Mixed (UM), Urban Residential (UR), and Urban Light Industrial (ULI). According to Fesler, some of the principles applied in those zones could be extended beyong the Metro Everett boundaries into a Core residential Area overlay.

A few key characteristics of the zoning scheme put forward by metro Everett is the role of street type determining use regulations (i.e., "on TOD streets, residential uses would generally be restricted on ground floor street frontages to no more than 25% of a block (defined as 400 feet of frontage) in order to encourage active streets"). The zones also set regulations on matters of building form, like density, building heights, building locations, and ground floor spaces.

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