Planning commission adds 5th option for waterfront EVERETT - The planning commission favors a hybrid alternative for the Central Waterfront Development Area, which includes the former Kimberly-Clark site.
The commissioners didn’t like the looseness of the current zoning, but they also didn’t like the restrictions written into the other alternatives proposed by the city.
The city presented four development alternatives for the planning commission to discuss last week, but the seven-member commission couldn’t come to agreement on one.
Instead the commission proposed a fifth alternative that largely keeps the site’s traditional industrial zoning but prevents certain businesses on the site.
The current zoning allows almost any commercial or industrial use — from boat builders to strip clubs — on the site.
The city’s planning department will take the commission’s ideas and produce a new alternative before the commission’s Oct. 23 meeting.
Commissioners spent a little over an hour hammering out the hybrid alternative. The commission supported keeping some performance standards to limit noise and pollution at the site in the hybrid alternative.
The 93-acre site, with 66 acres of land, is the biggest developable piece of Everett’s waterfront.
Residents want family-wage jobs brought back to the site. When Kimberly-Clark shut its doors, it left 750 people without a job.
More than 50 people came to the commission meeting and about a dozen people spoke. Some people wanted public access to the site protected, others questioned how the city could set parameters on the site when the city doesn’t firmly know what will be built there.
A consultant’s economic analysis suggests the site would most likely attract shipping operations because of the site’s deep waters and railroad access.
Alternative 1, which Kimberly-Clark supports, would keep the current zoning.
The Port of Everett supports alternative 1. The port is still considering the mill site to expand its operations southward, and executive director John Mohr wrote that this alternative would best utilize the site’s unique deepwater port.
Snohomish County’s surface water division wrote it supports alternative 3, which allows public access to the waterfront. The other three alternatives place public access at a separate Kimberly-Clark owned site at the tip of Everett’s peninsula.
Among the four alternatives, alternative 3, which proposes a business park, got the least support from commissioners as many considered it unrealistic.
Some residents prefer the business park in alternative 3 because they think it would bring high-wage office jobs to the waterfront.
Commissioner Clair Olivers said alternative No. 3 had serious problems. For example, high-tech companies attracted to the idea of a high rise with big waterfront views wouldn’t like the security restrictions set by Naval Station Everett next door requiring opaque glass, Olivers said.
The commission will hold another public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 23 on the hybrid alternative and the commission is expected to vote on it at that meeting. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in Everett Station’s Weyerhaeuser Room.
Mayor Ray Stephanson also will weigh in on the alternative before the commission vote, planning director Alan Giffen said.
The revised waterfront plan will be posted online at the city’s website, www.everettwa.org, when it is ready. Search for the Central Waterfront Planning Area page.
Kimberly-Clark finalizes cleanup agreement with Ecology
Kimberly-Clark recently finished negotiations with the Department of Ecology and agreed to a plan to clean up the uplands area of the mill site.
Ecology is still negotiating with Kimberly-Clark on cleaning up the East Waterway, a large area of water that is expected to be costly to clean up.
There will be a public hearing on the steps to clean up the uplands area expected to be set next month.