Lynnwood City Council discusses Northline Village proposal, utility rates study

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    The proposed Northline Village mixed-use development was the topic of conversation at Monday night’s Lynnwood City Council work session meeting, where the council received an in-depth review of the project’s draft development agreement.

    At their June 17 meeting, councilmembers held the first of two pre-hearings regarding the draft development agreement between the city and Merlone Geier Partners (MGP), which owns the Lynnwood Square shopping center near 196th Street Southwest and 44th Avenue West. MGP is proposing a major redevelopment of the 19.1-acre site, which would include a mix of retail, commercial and residential uses

    Northline Village would be part of Lynnwood’s City Center designated regional growth district. According to the City Center Sub-Area Plan, the area will be “a central business district with pedestrian friendly streets in a park-like environment.”

    During the July 15 presentation, City Center project manager Karl Almgren provided the council with a detailed look at MGP’s proposed plans for the site, which features 521,000 square feet of office space, to include 60,000 square feet of space for possible doctor or dental offices. It would also have 256,000 square feet of retail space, with 50,000 square feet of that designated for entertainment use, like a movie theater. Office space would be located along 44th Avenue West, where there would also be two parking garages with street access. The proposed agreement also includes plans for a potential grocery store.

    Additionally, the proposal has 1,369 multi-family residential units with ground-level retail shops. During the discussion, Councilmember George Hurst asked if any of the residential units would include affordable housing. 

    Almgren replied that currently, the proposed development agreement does not include affordable housing, but it could be incorporated in the future.

    “We do recognize that all housing is important in Lynnwood and this does propose a certain amount of housing,” he said.

    Karl Almgren

    According to the proposed design, Northline Village will be bisected from 200th Street Southwest and 196th Street Southwest by a new road with right-in/right-out entrances to reduce through traffic. Connecting 46th Avenue West and the proposed 45th Avenue West bisecting street is a proposed “festival street,” which could be closed off to host community events.

    For recreational use, the development proposes a 29,000-square-foot park called Village Green, of which 10,000 square feet will be a green space. The proposal calls for a splash pad/water play area and either a water feature, public pavilion or art installation. A smaller 21,000-square-foot “pocket” dog park near 46th Avenue West is also proposed.

    However, it may be some time before Northline Village becomes a reality. Currently, the development agreement proposes an initial 15-year term with an option to extend the contract an additional 10 years. During the discussion, Councilmember Hurst said he was concerned about the idea of 25-year development period. 

    “This development should be the anchor for our city center,” he said. “But (25 years) sounds like a long time.”

    The council is scheduled to continue the discussion of the Northline Village development agreement at its Aug. 5 work session. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for the council’s Aug. 12 business meeting.

    In other business, the council heard its second briefing regarding the city’s utility rates study for 2020-25. Every three years, the city hires a consultant to review the on-going six-year plan for water, sewer and storm utility rates.

    According to the presentation, roughly 4 percent of Lynnwood single-family and multi-family households receive assistance from utility discount programs. Through the program, low-income households receive $370 to $600 per year in discounts. Programs that assist low-income households through property tax exemptions or households already receiving assistance from other programs — like SNAP or TANF — do not have a discount cap

    Two new utility discount programs — one based on age, disability and income level and another that helps families with students on free-and-reduced lunch — are capped at $100,000. However, Public Works Director Bill Franz said neither program is close to reaching its cap and both have room to expand. 

    “Our recommendation at this time is to stay the course and to continue what we’re doing,” he said.

    Councilmember Ian Cotton said although he appreciates that the programs are helping people, he would like to explore the possibility of adding caps to the programs that do not have them.

    “I’m glad to see that these are doing some good for the people they’re helping,” he said. “I also would like to be mindful of the overall integrity of the system.”

    Councilmembers Ben Goodwin, Ian Cotton and Ruth Ross practice CPR during the ACT to Save a Life Training provided by South County Fire.

    Also during the meeting, the council participated in an ACT to Save a Life Training led by members of South County Fire. During the exercise, councilmembers and members of the audience were trained to help victims of suspected opioid overdose, provide CPR and AED assistance for cardiac arrest victims and apply a tourniquet.

    ACT to Save a Life Training is a new training workshop provided by South County Fire on the first Thursday of every month. Classes are from 5-6 p.m. at the Lynnwood Fire Station, located at 18800 44th Ave. W.

    Pre-registration is required. To register for the workshop, click here. Attendees are advised that this is not a certification class.

    –Story and photos by Cody Sexton

    1 COMMENT

    1. I’m still trying to process the remaining information, but I do like the proposal of 46th & 45th streets. Having used the Lynnwood Transit Center in the recent past, I can attest to the difficulty getting out during “rush hour”. With the light rail coming in, it will need as many outlets as possible.

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