August 17, 1998
Kenmore Council studies ordinances
by Jack Rogers
Racing to meet a deadline of Aug. 31, the Kenmore City Council reviewed in a study session another packet of ordinances it must adopt by the city's first day of incorporation. The session, held Aug. 10, was in preparation for the regular council meeting Monday, Aug. 17, at the Kenmore Fire Department. Topics of study included zoning changes, minimum building lot sizes, minimum density requirements, sidewalk guidelines, traffic study requirements, interim and long-term comprehensive plans, environmental policy acts and an adult entertainment moratorium.
This full plate of important items was discussed with the assistance of Gregg Dohrn, Interim Community Development Director, who provided legal background on the various issues.
The majority of the discussion centered on zoning issues that face the council. The key item was whether or not to reduce lots from an R-8 to an R-6 classification. This would mean reducing the number of buildable lots per acre from eight to six for those designated zones. The largest impact of such a change would be in the northeast corner of the new city. Along with the proposed zoning change comes related issues such as setting minimal sizes for building lots. The council is faced with several dilemmas as it proceeds with the zoning changes. Opinions were expressed among council members about their reluctance to adversely affect property values, how to deal with traffic congestion and road improvements as development goes forward and how to deal with development projects that are already underway which are operating under a different set of guidelines established by King County.
After discussions that included review of community concerns, the Council directed Gregg Dohrn to prepare ordinances that would down-zone R-8 areas to R-6. They also gave direction to set the wording for minimum lot sizes of 4500 square feet. Criteria for grandfather clauses of projects already underway will also be prepared for presentation at the next council meeting.
Mayor Jack Crawford and other council members expressed concern for developing as early as possible a comprehensive plan for the new city. "A comprehensive plan will set in place the long-range guidelines for city growth and serve as the standard that will guide our future decision-making," Mayor Crawford said.
In discussing environmental policy acts to be adopted, the Council discussed whether to adopt the King County or Washington State plan.
The final item of the session was a proposed moratorium on the development or expansion of adult entertainment sites within city limits. The Council agreed on the issuing of a moratorium which will delay further development of such sites. The moratorium will give city government time to establish guidelines that will put the City of Kenmore in compliance with state and federal laws.
All items discussed at the study session will be formally acted upon an upcoming city council meetings. No official decisions may be made at council study sessions.