Dismayed Port of Edmonds Withdraws Harbor Square Redevelopment Plan

By Greg Johnston, April 9, 2013, Edmonds Patch

Apparently exasperated with the Edmonds City Council’s lack of support, the Port of Edmonds withdrew its application to the city for a proposed major redevelopment of Harbor Square downtown into a five-story mixed residential/retail complex with 3.8 acres of public open space.

The Port of Edmonds Commission Monday night authorized Port Director Bob McChesney to withdraw the port’s application to modify the city’s Comprehensive Plan for the proposal. McChesney sent a letter doing just that Tuesday morning (see the attached PDF file).

The letter says it became apparent after much discussion by the city council that “there was not sufficient support to obtain a majority vote for acceptance of the Planning Board’s recommendation to approve, with conditions, the proposed Harbor Square Master Plan…”

The letter complains that instead, the council voted to stop consideration of the port’s plan and craft it own. Sources close to the port told Kirkland Patch port officials felt the port had invested too much time and money over some three years, in consultants’ fees, studies, steering committee meetings and public meetings to move forward without stronger support from the council.

“The process was conducted in an open and transparent manner, beyond any normal standard,” the letter said. “Frankly, the the formal dismissal of the Port’s Master Plan..has been disappointing and discouraging to the Commission, the Port Staff, as well as to the many Edmonds/Woodway residents who worked hundreds of hours in developing the proposal.”

The project site is at State Route 204 and Dayton Street near the Edmonds Marina. It is described by the port like this:

The Harbor Square Master Plan submitted to the City for inclusion in the Comprehensive Plan envisions a mixed-use transit oriented development. The mixed use nature of the Master Plan will allow for retail, commercial, office, public uses and residential housing.

The SEPA checklist indicates a redeveloped Harbor Square consistent with the Master Plan could provide 340 to 358 residential units, 50,400 square feet of retail, 9,784 square feet of office, 123,410 square feet of recreational health club uses (including tennis courts), 3.8 acres of public open space and 1,091 spaces of off-street parking.

The Master Plan also envisions buildings up to 55 feet in height. Buildings of 35 feet are proposed for the SR-104/Dayton Street intersection while buildings of 45 feet are proposed along Dayton Street (with step back provisions for portions above 35 feet). Five story buildings (55 feet) would be located at the far southern edge of the site.

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