by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--The state recently sent a letter to Woodinville's mayor and planning director commending the city for its recently adopted comprehensive plan. The kudos came from an agency which has reviewed many city comprehensive plans before seeing Woodinville's.
"We think you have accomplished some exemplary work on your first comprehensive plan under the Growth Management Act," wrote Steve Wells, assistant director of Growth Management Services in the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development. "You have looked at how your community will be growing in the next 20 years and have made important decisions on how that growth can be managed in keeping with your vision for the future."
Wells noted two specific elements in the city's plan as "especially commendable," including a consistency table between Woodinville and King and Snohomish counties in the housing element, and strategies for existing and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the community.
"We commend the City of Woodinville for making a sincere effort to create more affordable housing," Wells wrote. "Congratulations to you and your community for the good work the plan embodies." Wells also cited the "straightforward policies" in establishing land-use patterns, densities and site designs encouraging less reliance on single-occupancy vehicles.
Ray Sturtz, planning director for the city, was honored by both the letter and a commendation from the City Council on Oct. 28 for his work on the plan.
"This is a great accomplishment for a city, let alone a small town," said Sturtz. "After two-and-a-half to three years of effort, to create something that's used as the example, that's quite a feather in everybody's cap."
Sturtz said the plan was a real team effort, involving the community via citizen advisory panels, city staff, the Planning Commission and the City Council. "All the hard work of those individuals paid off; it was a real coming together of the community," he said.