Lynnwood City Council talks Lynnwood Place Phase 2, future City Center development

The Lynnwood City Council and Mayor Nicola Smith (middle) listen as Economic Development Director David Kleitsch (middle right) and City Planning Manager Todd Hall (far right) provide an update on Lynnwood Place Phase 2.

Growth and development for the City of Lynnwood were the focus of the Lynnwood City Council’s May 6 work session meeting as the council heard briefings from city staff about what the future holds for Lynnwood.

Among the items discussed was proposed draft legislation that would make changes to the design guidelines and development code for the planned Lynnwood City Center district. The area has been zoned for apartment complexes and office towers. The district will be anchored by an expanded Lynnwood Transit Center and a new Sound Transit light rail station. The amendments to the design guidelines and development code would accommodate future development, said city Senior Planner Ashley Winchell.

“Our zoning code and our design guidelines are our tools to get those things implemented,” she said

Part of the City Center vision is to make the area more pedestrian-friendly. In addition to surface parking, proposed one-way drive aisles would be developed to accommodate drop-off and pick-up sites. Temporary, 30-minute parking would be available.

The proposed drive aisles would address the lack of drop-off sites near the Destinations Lynnwood 61+ Apartment Homes (formerly SHAG Lynnwood City Center Senior Living), Winchell said. Other site design changes include streetscapes, fencing regulations, site lighting and parking garages. The amendments would include definitions for future developers.

“We wanted to make sure there’s no ambiguity,” she said.

The city council also heard a proposed ordinance and development agreement for Lynnwood Place Phase 2 — a mixed-use project comprising of housing, commercial space and a Home Depot on the southern portion of the former Lynnwood High School site. The project will connect via walkways to Alderwood Mall and Costco — which was installed in Phase 1 of the project.

The property is owned by the Edmonds School District, which has been marketing it to lease. Phase 2 is also the only commercial-residential zoned area in the property, said City of Lynnwood Planning Manager Todd Hall.

Councilmember Shannon Session said she has been looking forward to the development of Phase 2.

“I’ve always been anticipating this place to be vibrant and robust,” she said.

Lynnwood Place Phase 2 will include construction of four, five-story multi-family residential buildings with 500 market-value residential units over a single podium of parking and ground-floor retail and surface parking. Also, rooftop parking on top of the future Home Depot will be the first of its kind for the home-improvement store.

Economic Development Director David Kleitsch presented the proposed ordinance, which will include a public hearing that is scheduled for the May 13 city council business meeting.

In other business, the city council heard an update from the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) on its VISION 2050 plan. Snohomish County — in addition to King, Kitsap and Pierce counties — comprise the PSRC, which develops policies and coordinates for regional growth, transportation and economic development planning for the region, Hall said.

By the year 2050, Lynnwood is projected to have an additional 1.8 million people and 1.2 million new jobs. To prepare for that, the council has been advised to adopt a regional growth strategy. With the Lynnwood Link light rail expansion coming soon, it’s recommended that the city look to transit-related growth, Hall said.

“We felt that that the transit-focused growth was the clearest option to focus on,” he said.

–Story and photo by Cody Sexton

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