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JUNE 16, 1997

Front Page

New buildings must include open space

open space by Andrew Walgamott
Employees of future commercial centers in Woodinville may have a choice other than the corporate cafeteria for lunch and breaks. During the Woodinville City Council's Growth Management Act development regulation meeting June 11, the council agreed with staff on new language in the zoning code that requires new commercial, office, and industrial developments to set aside five percent of their site for recreation space for employees and others.
   "This adds to the quality of the work environment and to the quality of life overall," said Ray Sturtz, Woodinville's Planning Director.
   Developers will be encouraged to include trails, picnic tables, waterfalls, courts, and open grassy lawns on their sites. Other designs will need to be approved by the city's planning director. Stormwater facilities such as bioswales and ponds can count towards 50 percent of the recreation space required by the city. Facilities requiring fences, underground storage vaults, or which are not aesthetically pleasing will not qualify, according to Stephanie Cleveland, project planner.
   Development owners will be required to pay for landscaping of areas that aren't trails, courts, or water features. The maximum space the city will require to be set aside is five acres. Appropriate indoor recreation areas will also be credited towards the whole. Currently, the city requires new residential development to provide recreation space.
   The regulations will become effective 12 days after the City Council adopts the GMA zoning code, which Cleveland tentatively set for July 14. The council will continue discussing development regulations June 25 and June 30 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.