At the July 26 city council meeting Bothell Mayor Mark Lamb was presented with a 2011 Smart Communities Award by Kathleen Drew, executive policy advisor for Governor Christine Gregoire.
In June the governor announced that Bothell was one of 12 cities statewide recognized for creating livable communities in Washington state. The communities awarded showed outstanding work in innovative and wise land use, resource management, enhanced rural preservation, water utility planning and transportation planning.
The cities honored were also cited for effective city-county partnerships and achieving significant public participation, as well as incorporation of public safety and community gathering places, density supporting transportation and downtown revitalization as key components of their growth.
The Smart Communities Awards are administered by the Growth Management Program at the Washington State Department of Commerce, a policy the governor began in 2006.
In June of this year the city of Bothell received the 2011 Municipal Excellence Award for the category of economic development by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC).
The city also received the Governor’s 2007 Smart Communities Award for its comprehensive capital facilities plan.
Drew read a letter from the governor that included the following: "The Bothell downtown area plan and implementation positions city leadership to acquire and act as master developer for 25 downtown acres, catalyzing Bothell to emerge from the recession as a hub of private investment while also creating opportunity for the region.
"Already seven major teams have launched efforts to transform this historic downtown. The evidence is overwhelming: numerous studies show that well-planned neighborhoods and communities attract businesses and create jobs."
Downtown Bothell is undergoing a vast and visionary redevelopment effort. Since April 2010 the city has broken ground on nearly $80 million in projects as part of a total of $150 million in planned infrastructure improvements that, according to studies, will leverage $650 million in private sector development while creating over 8,000 temporary construction jobs and nearly 1,500 permanent family wage jobs.
The public infrastructure improvements include expanding the existing five lanes of the Wayne Curve section of Bothell Way to seven lanes to reduce congestion; realigning SR 522 at the intersections of SR 527 and Main Street; widening SR 527 to create a dynamic landscaped boulevard for pedestrian and vehicle traffic; enhancing and extending Bothell’s historic Main Street to create a "festival zone;" building a 50,000 square foot city hall and civic campus; expanding the park at Bothell Landing by three acres to enhance the community’scentral gathering area and preserving the historic Anderson School Building and adapting it for a new use — a McMenamins development which will include a hotel, restaurant, pub, spa, pool, community garden and theater.
Drew is familiar with the area, having worked for five years as government relations director at UW-Bothell before taking her current job with the governor.
"What terrific work you’ve done to honor your history and create your future," she told the council.