Lost in Woodinville? Just look up and follow the bright lights on the crane near City Hall.
Assistants to the City Manager Alex Herzog and Kevin O’Neill presented a report on city happenings at an early morning Rotary Club meeting Tuesday, Feb. 11.
The presentation focused on anticipated growth, major projects and highlights from 2019. With all the housing developments underway, the city projects an abundance of new residents.
“We are growing crazily,” Herzog said. “In the next five years, we are on track to receive about 2,400 new housing units.”
He said the city anticipates about 4,700 new residents along with the developing units, which will make up 35% of Woodinville’s population. Staff is working on plans for infrastructure to serve all of these new families, he added.
Herzog said the city plans to meet the housing demands, enhance permit processing capacity, address infrastructure needs, balance growth and maintain livability.
“We’ve experienced quite a bit of growth over the last two or three years,” he said. “We are excited to see Woodinville continue to grow in a smart and financially responsible way.”
Development of the Wine Village will provide for 425 residential units, as well as space for restaurants, retail, offices and a hotel. Westpoint will also create 161 residential units and room for retail on the ground floor. Woodin Creek Village will bring 800 more units and the Civic Campus will add another 260 units.
The Civic Campus is an example of growth made possible from the city’s Capital Improvement Plan. O’Neill said 2020 improvement projects place emphasis on street maintenance. There will also be enhancements to sidewalks, facilities, parks and surface water, which totals nearly $8.5 million.
O’Neill said the city has a total of 17 upcoming projects, most set to be completed this summer before school starts again. Citizens have expressed interest in widening the trestle near State Route 522, he added.
City Manager Brandon Buchanan said the trestle has been a topic of discussion for many years and progress is slow due to a “lot of moving parts.”
O’Neill said three new positions were added to the staff in an attempt to increase city operations and growth. Additions include a new senior planner, senior engineer and stormwater program coordinator.
Financially, the two assistants to the city manager said Woodinville is thriving.
The 2019 Lodging Tax collected $170,000, which is then used to increase tourism and hotel space. Funds also go toward community events, such as Celebrate Woodinville and Winterfest.
About $18,000 of grant funds were allocated by the city to support community organizations. Recipients included the Community Care Alliance, Woodinville Farmers Market, Northshore YMCA and Woodinville Rotary.
Looking back at 2019, crime in Woodinville has decreased by 50% since 2006. O’Neill said there is a continued low level of violent crime, although police are handling more calls for mental health and substance abuse-related issues.
“We are very fortunate to have a very proactive police department,” O’Neill said.
He said there have been a number of successful property crime arrests, including a high-profile sting and arrest of individuals featured on Washington’s Most Wanted. A lot of these property crimes are from people leaving their cars unlocked, he added.