Polygon submits revised plans for riverfront
EVERETT - Could new plans for the Riverfront Development bring it much closer to the urban vision the city laid out for the site years ago?
Homebuilder Polygon Northwest was due to submit revised plans for the approximately 100-acre site in north Lowell late last week. The public has lambasted Polygon’s plans for low-density suburbia over the past two months, and City Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher raised questions about the plan as well.
The public should be able to see the revised plans on the city’s “Riverfront Redevelopment” webpage by press time. The city’s website is www.everettwa.org.
The city hadn’t seen the plans before press time, but the city’s planning director said he understood there were “quite a few changes” to the revised plan that could make it more like the grand-scale proposal from previous developer OliverMcMillan that encapsulated the city’s vision of an urban extension southeast of downtown.
“Conceptually, it’s a plan closer to what OliverMcMillan’s was,” planning director Allan Giffen said last week.
The planning commission is scheduled to discuss the new plans at a Feb. 11 special meeting.
The planning commission met last week but little was discussed about the Riverfront Development. The city will have an attorney attend the next meeting to answer the commission’s question on how much authority it has over the plans, Giffen said last week.
Some planning commissioners and numerous residents were highly critical of Polygon’s proposal for a low-density suburban development at meetings on Dec. 17 and Jan. 7, going as far as to ask for mandates increasing the density. Polygon’s development agreement with the city has no minimum number of residential units.
Polygon has said so far that its plan is what the market will bear.
OliverMcMillan’s vision was not feasible for the market, Polygon officials said previously.
Polygon’s proposal placed 233 single-family homes on one section of the development and 175 townhomes on a separate section.
Polygon’s plans for the commercial section in the middle of the development are unknown. Polygon has been keeping the commercial section under wraps while the company seeks tenants, but on Jan. 7 suggested it is considering 350 to 400 condominiums on the site.
At the Jan. 7 meeting, Polygon president Gary Young said the company is receptive to comments, but he gave no indication the plans would change and said the company can’t do everything the public wants.
Last week, Polygon indicated a willingness to make changes by submitting revised plans.
“It sounds like they’re taking the community’s comments seriously,” Giffen said in describing the new plans.
Polygon went before the commission requesting changes for single-family housing for the piece of the property known as the Simpson site.
Polygon’s change requests include allowing street-facing garages instead of urban-style alleyway access points, removing a central “community green” park and moving part of that green space closer to the Snohomish River and minor lot size revisions.
City planners recommended in writing at that time that the planning commission approve all of Polygon’s requests without question. The planning commission declined to take that advice.
The planning commission and City Council have a say on the property because the city and Polygon entered into a development agreement.
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