Lynnwood City Council approves development agreement with Sound Transit

The Lynnwood City Council at its April 8 business meeting voted to adopt an ordinance approving a development agreement between the City of Lynnwood and Sound Transit. The ordinance was passed unanimously, with Councilmember George Hurst absent. The development agreement is the next step in the process of the Lynnwood Link Light Rail Extension project scheduled to be completed in 2024.

Prior to the vote, city staff and Sound Transit representatives provided an update on the 8.5-mile extension project. Sound Transit project manager Gwen McCullough said the city and Sound Transit have been working for a year on the agreement, which will facilitate construction in Lynnwood.

“We’re very excited for the next phase of this project to move forward,” she said.

A public hearing before the council gave Lynnwood residents an opportunity to ask staff and Sound Transit officials questions about the project. Former Lynnwood City Councilmember Van AuBuchon said he was concerned that the current police staff is not equipped to handle the increased amount of people who will use the Lynnwood Transit Center and light-rail station.

“My question is, where is the plan to get the police in place that will be necessary to take care of this kind of onslaught?” he said.

In preparation for the pending light-rail station, the Lynnwood Police Department has worked with the city and Sound Transit to address Criminal Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) reviews, responded Councilmember Shannon Sessions. According to the agenda’s website, CPTED is “a multidisciplinary approach for reducing crime through urban and environmental design and the management and use of built environments.”

Sessions also added that the police department is fully staffed to accommodate the city’s current needs.

“When our police chief and the command sees fit that it’s a priority, we will increase the police force, then we’ll be excited to talk about that again,” she said.

Additionally, McCullough said that Sound Transit will provide security for the Lynnwood Transit Center post-construction, and the agency will work with local law enforcement to ensure safety.

“It will continue our collaborative relationship to keep not only our riders but your citizens safe and secure while being able to use light rail while in the City of Lynnwood,” she said.

During light-rail station planning, the biggest priority was how best to address the increased traffic flow the project will bring to the city, said Economic Development Director David Kleitsch. Street improvements by Sound Transit are designed to accommodate an increased number of drivers, walkers, bicycle riders and buses, he said.

“They (streets) have been sized to accommodate the projected flow of traffic as well as provide a capacity for the city and congestion relief,” Kleitsch said.

Another concern about the project was accessibility from the ground floor to the station’s platform. Lynnwood resident Annie Lyman asked if the escalators to access the station platform will run in both ascending and descending directions.

“The escalators will go up,” McCullough said. “But escalators can be turned in the opposite direction.”

The platforms will also include elevators and stair access, and Sound Transit will monitor the escalator use to see if a descending escalator is required, she said.

Councilmember Ian Cotton praised city staff and public input on the light-rail project.

“I think there’s a really good process here where we’ve continually been before the people,” he said.

Citizens who want to learn more information about the light-rail project are invited to attend one of the following upcoming Sound Transit meetings:

For more information on Lynnwood Link light rail extension construction, click here.

In other business, the city council voted to adopt an ordinance amending the city’s 2019 Salary Schedule and approving the addition of an entry-level legal specialist for the city’s municipal courts. The position’s primary function would be customer service at the court’s front counter. The position would not require clerical work in the courtroom.

The city also issued the following proclamations:

  • Proclaiming April 7-13 as National Volunteer Week
  • Proclaiming April 25-28 as Stand Against Racism Week
  • Proclaiming April 16 as Education and Sharing Day

The city was also presented with its 20th Tree City U.S.A. Award from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources in celebration of Arbor Day.

–Story by Cody Sexton

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