City wants public input on Everett’s future
EVERETT - How should Everett look in 20 years? Where should the city locate future residents? What should its streets and neighborhoods feel like? How about more transit or tree-lined roads?
These are all questions the city wants people to weigh in on this spring as it builds a long-range plan for growth.
Everett anticipates it will become a city of 143,000 people by 2035. There are a little more than 100,000 people living in Everett now.
The city has a few questions to tackle, including if people want tall or short buildings, homes that cover the entire lot and how to improve people’s standard of living. Another item is to revise the city’s infill policy to have more homes built on the sparse amount of vacant land in the city.
“We’re looking to the public for input,” planning director Allan Giffen said.
The city held a similar long-range planning session decades ago when it faced similar population growth numbers. Everett grew by 37,000 people between 1980 and 2000, when the city’s population went from 54,000 people to 91,000.
The entire process should take two years, Giffen said. Unlike workshops centered on specific corridors, such as Broadway and Evergreen Way, the scope of work for this plan covers the whole city.
A draft report that will include the public’s comments is expected by June.
The City Council will have the final say. On Jan. 2, the council approved going ahead with studying Everett’s growth under a 143,000 population target.
In conjunction with the growth plan, the city has to update its comprehensive plan by 2015 to meet Snohomish County guidelines.
The city kicked off its first public hearing on the growth plan at last week’s planning commission meeting. About 25 residents attended and eight spoke.
Northend residents are concerned about Colby Avenue becoming a four-lane thoroughfare to serve Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. Resident J.T. Dray wanted more bus service and worried the current system will disappoint future commuters.
Resident Patrick Pierce recommended rejuvenating downtown’s look.
The city’s population estimate is lower than the Puget Sound Regional Council’s estimate, which places 164,000 people in Everett by 2040. Giffen said PSRC’s estimate is based from assumptions used in King County where there is less rural land available.
“Frankly, we think they missed it on Snohomish County,” Giffen said of the PSRC’s targets.
The PSRC considers Everett a major growth city, which could make Everett eligible for state dollars through the PSRC for transportation and economic development improvements.
The city already has a lot of dense residential areas, Giffen said. Everett is about 32 square miles in size, but many acres are used by manufacturing companies.
To get on an e-mail list for future public hearing dates, contact the planning department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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