Northwest NEWS

August 26, 2002

Local News

Downtown - LBC Master Plan fliers, comment cards in the mail

WOODINVILLE - Around the second week of September city residents and businesses will receive a poster-sized drawing of the Downtown - Little Bear Creek (LBC) Corridor Integrated Master Plan. The mailer will include a comment card asking for feedback on proposed land use, open space and traffic circulation concepts for the downtown area encompassing Wilmot Gateway Park east to 140th Avenue Northeast and extending north to include Northeast 177th Place (Little Bear Creek Parkway) to the county line. The card will allow the recipient to identify preferences for the various design concepts developed from public workshops and meetings for the Downtown Master Plan and the Little Bear Creek Corridor. The postage-paid cards should be returned to the City by Sept. 27. The draft Master Plan document is also expected to be ready by the first week of September and will be the subject of an Oct. 16 open house, 5 to 7 p.m., Woodinville City Hall, Council Chambers, 17301 -133rd Avenue NE.
   "It is critical for us to cast the net again to gather further input on this very important master plan," notes Mayor Scott Hageman. "Comments received from this mailer will be folded into the body of input to develop the draft Master Plan."
   The Downtown and LBC Corridor Master Plans began as separate studies in the fall of 2001. As work proceeded, their interrelated nature grew more apparent. As a result, both plans are merged into one integrated plan.
   Master Plan an outgrowth
   of the city's Comprehensive Plan
   The integrated Master Plan is intended to implement the city's Comprehensive Plan vision for a "compact, inviting downtown that is attractive and functional." Development of the Master Plan has been guided by the Comprehensive Plan goals and policies and a series of public workshops where participants have rated various urban design concepts.
   Specific feedback requested
   The comment card will specifically solicit feedback on the following proposed concepts:
   A new pedestrian-oriented retail street as an extension of Garden Way (138th Place NE) to 171st Street (South Bypass).
   "Park blocks" along an east-west corridor, connecting City Hall with the extension of Garden Way.
   North extension of 132nd Avenue Northeast, connecting Northeast 175th Street to Little Bear Creek Parkway.
   Non-motorized trail from Wilmot Gateway Park east along the park blocks to several possible northerly routes connecting with the future Little Bear Creek lineal park.
   Height increase for mixed-use buildings from 45 feet to 55 feet in the central business zone (downtown corridor)
   Height increase for office buildings from 45 feet to 67 feet in the Little Bear Creek corridor
   Land use regulations that would encourage housing and smaller scale retail stores in downtown and office park development in the LBC corridor.
   Pedestrian overpass connecting "The Wedge" neighborhood (the residential area north of State Route 522), with the Little Bear Creek Lineal trail.
   Future passenger rail and depot located near 132nd Avenue Northeast and Woodinville-Snohomish Road.
   A trail system connecting the future Skate/BMX park property to a pedestrian path along Little Bear Creek.
   "These concepts respond to the improvements people want, including a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, improved transportation flow and more open space," notes Carl Smith, city planner. Smith emphasizes the key to realizing these improvements is the economics of redevelopment.
   "New public and private investment is needed to create the open space, improved traffic and pedestrian-friendly environment. That's why the draft plan recommends some height increases."
   Rapid reply is encouraged as the comment cards will be provided to the Planning Commission, Parks & Recreation Commission and ultimately City Council as each considers the draft Plan.
   The draft Master Plan will be the subject of Planning Commission meetings in September. The completed draft plan will be presented to the Planning Commission on Oct. 2 and to the Parks and Recreation Commission on Oct. 3. Both meetings are open to the public and will be held at 7 p.m., Woodinville City Hall, Council Chambers. Following review by these Commissions, the draft Plan is expected to be considered by the City Council in November.
   Since January, five workshops have been held to develop concepts based upon ideas generated from participants.
   "We had good attendance at all workshops," notes Smith. "Citizens from neighborhoods, business and community groups have been active since this process has begun." The draft Master Plan is an outgrowth of the City's Comprehensive Plan that calls for a "compact, inviting downtown that is attractive and functional."
   Presentations have been made to local civic organizations and to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Summaries from the workshops are posted to the City's website at <.