Guidebook outlines downtown development styles

  • Written by Bill Lewis

A draft of a city guide to development calls on Woodinville to emphasize brick facades and exposed wood in downtown buildings that evoke a “forest and farm” theme and reflects the city’s rural surroundings.

City Council members reviewed a draft of the Downtown Vision and Illustrative Guide at their July 11 meeting, an early step in development of the document intended to serve as a blueprint for downtown commercial projects.

Work on the document comes at “a very distinct turning point in the downtown’s development,” as the city adds new housing stock, contemplates revamping the Old Schoolhouse on Northeast 175th Street and makes plans for a new downtown Civic Plaza, said Bob Bengford, a partner at Makers Architecture, Planning and Urban Design of Seattle, hired last year by the city to work on the development guide.

Key styles, material

The draft recommends that new downtown development be characterized by specific types of architectural styles: Northwest contemporary architecture that includes wood structures, expansive windows and deep overhangs; understated lodge-style buildings; and agrarian rural-contemporary structures built in a farmhouse style, such as the Woodinville Whiskey Co. building on Redmond-Woodinville Road.

Builders should be discouraged from building structures with “kitchy, contrived designs,” especially in the development of lodge-style structures, Bengford said.

The guide also recommends that the city encourage pedestrian-friendly development and designs that preserve large trees and incorporate trees into the design of commercial spaces.
The building guide recommends four key elements of building materials that should be used in future downtown development:

Exposed wood “as a character-defining feature” of new downtown buildings

Locally produced wood products and locally sourced stone and rock building components

Brick as secondary-façade material on some buildings and the primary material on multi-building developments, or as a contrast to other buildings

Metal, concrete block, cement board and exterior insulation finishing systems under special conditions

Long-range plans

Four subcommittees of council members and citizens appointed by the council began working on the document last October, and have since held a series of public meetings to gather opinions of what should be in the development guide.

Those working on the project have attempted to write a guidebook for future development, “and not a regulatory document,” Bengford said.

But under long-range plans for the use of the planning guide, city codes would be updated to reflect the documents’ goals, according to Dave Kuhl, the city’s Development Services director.
Although that work is years away, Kuhl said the city already encourages developers and existing businesses to adopt building styles that are consistent with the city’s history, and forest & farm surroundings.

The draft presented to the council last week is a preliminary draft of the guide, which will eventually be brought to the council and city Planning Commis-sion for final approval.

Homeless adults welcomed to the Navigation Center

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

DESC's Navigation Center, operated in partnership with the City of Seattle, started welcoming individuals last week. The low-barrier, service-enriched shelter will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to serve adults who previously lived outside in encampments.  Guests of the Navigation Center will be welcomed as singles, pairs or groups along with their pets.

Guests will not be able to self-refer or walk in.  Referrals will come from the Evergreen Treatment’s REACH program, in conjunction with the City Navigation Team, which has already begun working with residents of encampments. DESC has already received the first 20 referrals for the new program, and expects those guests to move in immediately. Other arrivals will  follow  until the shelter is full to its 75 person capacity.

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With state spending plan in place, Northshore begins 2017-2018 budgeting process

  • Written by Bill Lewis

After waiting for months for the state Legislature to approve a school budgeting plan, the Northshore School District Board of Directors began the process of adopting a school budget at its July 11 meeting.

Although district officials are still digesting the details of the school funding plan signed July 1 by Gov. Jay Inslee, and how spending decisions in Olympia will affect Northshore schools beyond the 2017-2018 schoolyear, passage of the education spending measure allowed the district to begin considering a new spending plan.

The broad outline of the 2017-2018 budget submitted by Superintendent Michelle Reid includes the following:

General Fund budget: $257.5 million
Capital Projects Fund budget: $106.8 million
Debt Service Fund budget: $44.4 million
Associated Student Body Fund budget: $4.9 million
Transportation Vehicle Fund budget: $950,000

The budgeting process at Northshore and other district’s throughout the state was delayed by the Legislature’s extended debate on a state spending plan. The Legislature’s regular session ended in April, and a series of special sessions have been necessary to adopt plans for schools and other state spending.

Under the district’s current budgeting schedule, the school board will hold a public hearing on the budget proposal Aug. 14, and will vote on the budget Aug. 28, only four days before the district’s 2017-2018 fiscal year.


Residents want city to take over pond maintenance

  • Written by Bill Lewis

A group of 32 homeowners in a residential tract near Woodinville High School are asking the city to take over maintenance of a pond in their neighborhood, after they spent about $21,000 of their own money to clean debris from the pond.

The residents say Leckner Pond, located near the northwest corner of the high school property, serves as a storm water detention pond that benefits city streets, rather than their own property, and should be maintained by the city.

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Industrial facilities honored for environmental compliance in 2016

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Business practices that support a vibrant economy while protecting regional water quality earned environmental awards for 76 local   industrial    facilities   from King County’s   Industrial Waste Program.

Each year, the Industrial Waste Program, which operates as part of King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division, honors local  facilities that contribute to regional pollution prevention goals by meeting their respective permit requirements.

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