Short and sweet at city council meeting

  • Written by Don Mann
This one was a no-brainer met with harmonious unanimity and the Woodinville City Council may have set a personal land speed record last Tuesday in passing first and second reading and adopting Ordinance 525 to enact a moratorium of up to six months to suspend provisions of residential density incentives and transfer of residential density credits pertaining to land development. From soup to nuts, the decision took about five minutes.

As background, the wording of WMC 21.34 and 21.36 had allowed up to a 150 percent increase in development density above the adopted zoning regulations.

Those provisions had been in the city code for a number of years, but a recent council review revealed a number of potential issues including a lack of clarity on precisely what was allowed for developers, an inconsistency with other WMC sections, and an inconsistency with other recently adopted city goals.

On April 19 the council directed staff to prepare an ordinance that placed a halt on the existing code and would allow time for study and recommendation from the planning commission.

It does not stop development, City Manager Richard Leahy clarified, but prevents developers from taking advantage of the loopholes that increase residential density.

With little discussion, Deputy Mayor Bernie Talmas immediately moved to pass the new ordinance, and the motion passed 7-0.

Councilmember Paulette Bauman said the ordinance was critical in preserving the R-1 density in the neighborhoods, while preserving the character of the community.

It was the only vote taken that evening, as council moved on with a discussion of the city’s town hall meeting format and a discussion on reviewing the elements and policies of the city’s comprehensive plan.


On Tuesday the council will tackle four study session items: A discussion of the Parks and Recreation Commission’s recommendations for public art donations; a discussion of the Parks and Recreation Commission’s recommendation to discontinue video recording of its meetings; a discussion of short subdivision plat requirements and a discussion of the Old Woodinville School House use alternatives.

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