Lynnwood City Council amends city’s business licensing codes

The Lynnwood City Council has approved amendments to the city’s municipal codes aimed at making business licensing more efficient.

At its Sept. 23 business meeting, the council unanimously voted to adopt two ordinances — one updating the city’s Title 5 LMC for business regulations and licensing and another (Title 3 LMC) which establishes fees for services under Title 5. According to city staff, amendments to Title 5 remove regulations that are outdated, redundant or are no longer efficient regulations for business licensing.

Additionally, the amendments include implementation of a Business Licensing Service (BLS) program that will allow the city to issue and renew business licensing online. The BSL program is part of the new state law requiring cities that issue and renew business licenses to partner with the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Lynnwood’s BLS system is scheduled to go live in November.

After voting to adopt an ordinance amending Title 3, Councilmember Ian Cotton pointed out that it would only affect the fees regarding business licensing.

“These changes are being made specifically for the purpose of working within the confines of the state system so we’re all on the same page,” he said.

At the council’s Sept. 16 meeting, Lynnwood Economic Development Director David Kleitsch presented the draft ordinances to the council and highlighted some of the key amendments. Outdated regulations — like the ones regarding dance halls and vending machines — were deemed too costly and not worth regulating, so they were removed from the city’s code.

During the council’s Sept. 16 discussion, some councilmembers said they felt the draft ordinance regarding fees needed further review from the city’s finance committee. Council Vice President Christine Frizzell said that licensing requirements and costs should be proportionate to the business’s size to ensure equity.

However, Kleitsch advised the council to adopt the ordinances to meet the state requirements for the BSL program, pointing out that the council could make additional amendments to the codes at a later time.

“You’re not locking your fees in forever,” he said at the Sept. 16 meeting.

The council will hold a roundtable discussion on Oct. 16 with local business owners to get feedback on the licensing fees.

In other business, the council voted to adopt a resolution to permit the Everett Housing Authority (EHA) to operate the Pepperwood Senior Apartments in the city. 

According to city Senior Planner Ashley Winchell, EHA cannot purchase property in Lynnwood without a resolution.

“The resolution allows them to own and operate at those specific properties in Lynnwood,” she said. “Any future purchases will require a resolution.”

Since Homage Senior Services decided to shed its affordable senior housing properties, the non-profit has been selling its properties to EHA and Housing Authority of Snohomish County (HASCO).

Pepperwood Senior Apartments — located at 19924 Scriber Lake Road — is the most recent Lynnwood property acquired by EHA. Last year, a resolution was passed to allow EHA to operate Lynn Crest, Lynn Woods and Scriber Pointe senior apartments. 

The meeting also included two presentations from city staff. First, Parks, Recreations and Cultural Arts Director Lynn Sordel presented a check for $8,993  raised during the Lynnwood Parks and Recreation Foundation’s Par 4 Kids Golf Tournament, which went to the Recreation Benefit Fund. This is the 11th year for the event.

Par 4 Kids Golf Tournament is the largest fundraiser for the Recreation Benefit Fund, which is a community scholarship program. Eighty community members participated in the event, including local businesses and sponsors. Swedish Edmonds was the event’s title sponsor this year.

“We’re very grateful to all the local businesses and all the people who participated,” Sordel said. “This is a very big event for the foundation and the community.”

Next, Sordel presented a check for $950 each to the YWCA Pathways and Clothes for Kids — money raised from the EGGS-plore Lynnwood Auction.

EGGS-plore Lynnwood features 10-inch, plastic eggs decorated by local artists that are displayed around the city. This year’s EGGS-plore included 27 artists and participating businesses that decorated and displayed the eggs. The eggs were then auctioned off, with the proceeds being donated to local human services programs. 

Also, the council adopted two proclamations — one naming October Domestic Violence Awareness Month and another proclaiming Oct. 6-12 Fire Prevention Week in the City of Lynnwood.

–Story and photos by Cody Sexton

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