Four development alternatives for waterfront site
Home for aircraft carrier pitched as idea for property EVERETT - The former Kimberly-Clark mill site could become a cargo shipping site, a green energy business park — or the home for a historic aircraft carrier.
The aircraft carrier is the latest idea suggested for the expansive waterfront site.
The city is mapping out ideas that will eventually mold the 93-acre site’s future redevelopment. The area called the Central Waterfront Planning Area includes the 66-acre former Kimberly-Clark mill.
The current zoning allows for industrial and manufacturing uses.
The planning commission is working through different development ideas right now and a new discussion point is whether to prohibit specific industries from coming onto the site.
Al Aldrich, a consultant for Kimberly-Clark, said the company would rather the city set performance standards for any site buyer, such as how noisy the new site user can be, instead of setting hard limits prohibiting specific industries.
Planning commissioners debated the idea of setting performance standards but generally support the idea.
“I like the idea of performance standards and forming strict ones,” commission chair Michelle Sosin said, but the city should also set restrictions to prohibit unwanted uses.
The city has mapped out four alternative development options for the waterfront site. All of the alternatives assume the site will remain industrial.
One alternative sticks with the current rules. The other three include a combination of water-dependent and heavy industrial uses, a business park and public access land use layout and a mix of water-dependent and nonwater-dependent industrial uses.
The land use alternatives report is available on the city’s planning and development website under the title “Central Waterfront Planning Area.”
People can submit written comments on the waterfront alternatives through Friday, Sept. 14. The planning commission is scheduled to accept public testimony on the alternatives and potentially select a preferred alternative at its Tuesday, Sept. 18 meeting. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Everett Station’s Weyerhaeuser Room.
To send written comments, e-mail the city at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some of the alternatives require on-site public access to the waterfront, while others allow for it off site.
“The former Kimberly-Clark property is ill-suited for public access because of security concerns from the Navy and the port” of Everett, Aldrich said.
What about that aircraft carrier?
Gary Geverink, CEO of the Northwest Historic Ships Association, wants to bring the decommissioned 1,065-foot aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ranger to the port to create a tourist destination.
Geverink, who has talked with Mayor Ray Stephanson about the idea before, brought up the idea during last week’s planning commission meeting. The tourism boost to Everett with the Navy nearby would be “tremendous,” Geverink argued.
Geverink’s has wanted to bring the U.S.S. Ranger to Everett since 2000, he said. The U.S. Navy is keeping the ship from being scrapped in case it can be used for a private museum, but Geverink worries about how long that arrangement will hold.
The city wants a lot of public input on the waterfront plan to ensure it is planning the area to what residents want. Residents have clearly said they want family-wage jobs and public access to the waterfront.
At last week’s planning commission meeting, which was attended by about 40 people, a few spoke up.
Resident Charles Johnstone urged the city not to limit what goes on the site. The mill site could be effectively used for sewage treatment or water reclamation, Johnstone said, but hard limits could cull those plans.
Hotel manager Keith Lander urged the city to create a deepwater shipping port at the site. That’s what it’s best suited for, Lander said.
The Port of Everett is evaluating the viability of the site, port chief administrative officer Les Reardanz said. The port doesn’t have room for deepwater shipping on its current footprint.
Resident Mike Lapointe warned that the city should be careful about future uses contaminating the environment.
“Pay careful attention to what effects of whatever is set up there will have on our environment and our children and our future,” Lapointe said.
The site is contaminated according to state Department of Ecology standards.
Ecology determined the site needs to be cleaned up after it found contaminated soil at the mill site and in the water adjacent to the mill. Cleaning it up will take years.
Ecology is working with Kimberly-Clark on the cleanup and will work with whoever buys the site in the future.
Last week, Kimberly-Clark began demolishing buildings on the site.
The company sent a letter to about 300 nearby residents on its demolition plans. Heavy demolition work is scheduled to take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.