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Snohomish seeks new designation for district

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By Alejandro Dominguez
Herald Writer
Published:
SNOHOMISH -- The city wants to become more walkable. It also wants to attract more development.
A step in that direction occurred this past week when the City Council approved creation of a new land-use designation for the Pilchuck District.
That designation allows buildings up to five stories tall to be built in the area and also allows for more townhouses in a part of the district.
Next month, the council will consider making it easier to apply for building permits and set up a transfer of development rights to ease construction in the district.
"They're both important to achieve the vision for the Pilchuck District," Snohomish senior planner Owen Dennison said.
These ordinances are expected to be presented to the City Council in April.
As part of making applications easier to obtain, the city is seeking to allow potential developers to bypass state environmental review for smaller projects. State law allows for environmental studies to be skipped if a district already has been reviewed as a whole.
For example, a small 10-unit apartment complex or grocery store could be built without the environmental review, if the ordinance passes.
The second ordinance aims to set up a transfer of development rights program. The program will establish how much a developer will pay to build a fourth or fifth floor in any building.
Transfer of development rights is a process that aims to allow development in one area while preventing it from occurring in another. Buyers can use these development rights to build in areas like the Pilchuck District.
The City Council approved unanimously the amendments to the comprehensive plan and the development code to the Pilchuck District on Tuesday night.
According to city's numbers, there are about 470 people living within the district. The district stretches from Wood Street to Sixth Street within Union Avenue and the Pilchuck River.
The police station, the Snohomish Library and part of the Centennial Trail are inside the Pilchuck District.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » SnohomishLand Use Planning

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