City comprehensive plan amendment docket OKd; includes controversial proposed rezone previously denied

ARLINGTON – The City Council on Monday approved a docket containing 11 amendments to Arlington’s comprehensive plan including a controversial 2017 rezone and other requests from property owners or city-initiated.

A rezone denied by the council two years ago to build three-story apartments near 67th Avenue NE and 172nd Street NE is back for consideration, with conditions added by the property owner.

The Riar family requested a rezone of 7.23 acres from residential low-to-moderate density to residential high density, offering a “development agreement” with the council to limit the kind of housing that would be permitted for a future project.

“The development agreement allows for certain conditions to be set forth with the rezone, so you can limit the density, you can require what type of product they want to build, whether it’s town homes, condominiums or apartments, so there’s really the ability to negotiate what can be done with that property in the future,” said Marc Hayes, community and economic development director.

Council Member Jan Schuette reminded everyone that the original rezone hoped to build 300 apartments, but under the new request, that wouldn’t fly.

Hayes agreed, noting that the rezone proposal steers more toward building town homes that can promote home ownership just outside the Arlington-Marysville Manufacturing Industrial Center.

Mayor Barb Tolbert said the application refers to how the property owners will not use the property, and that includes apartments, nursing homes, and police or fire stations.

The proposed rezone would allow unlimited density as long as the rest of the code requirements are met for things like parking, open space, screening and setbacks. They asked for a condition that would limit the site to more than 13 dwelling units per acre.

Council Member Mike Hopson asked what the main differences were between the original rezone and the one now.

Hayes said it’s based around two factors: the development agreement, and the current rezone applies only to the owner’s property, not neighboring parcels to the west.

Hayes said the proponent of the rezone met with neighbors two months ago on the matter.

Tolbert said when the project comes back to the city in the future, a public hearing and input would be part of the process.

Placing rezones on the annual comp plan amendment docket is a necessary early step in the process before they are move onto the city’s standard public hearing and review process.

The original rezone proposal drew the ire of local residents who were concerned about traffic, drainage and a multi-family use not compatible with adjacent single-family neighborhoods.

Among the city’s seven proposed amendments, the Complete Streets plan and AMMIC sub-area plan would be incorporated.

The docket was approved unanimously. Council Members Marilyn Oertle, and Sue Weiss were absent.

Also in the amended city land-use map, the Tic Toc would seek rezoning a half acre at 606 Highland Drive from residential medium to high density, which would eventually hold two buildings with 21 units each and two duplexes.

A third rezone for AVS Communities at 6927 204th Street NE just east of the railroad tracks and in the Kent Prairie area would convert 9 acres from general industrial to general commercial to use a mixed use overlay.

AVS Communities specializes in affordable senior housing, with holdings in the greater Puget Sound region.

The council also consider proposed capital facilities plans for the Arlington and Lakewood school districts, the Butler Wetland annexation and York rezone of a half-acre next to York Memorial Park at 3209 180th St. NE from public/semi-public zoning to residential high density.

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Sue Weiss, 60
                                Work: Retired accountant, City Council
                                Education: Associates degree in Respiratory Therapy, Certificate of Municipal Leadership through Association of Wash. Cities.
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