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Comp plan hearing continues July 21

ARLINGTON A public hearing at the July 21 City Council meeting will provide members of the community a chance to express their opinions about a number of issues. The city is considering some amendments to its comprehensive plan and some are being considered at the July 21 hearing while others are continued to Aug. 18.

Perhaps the most controversial change is to rezone an area along Smokey Point Boulevard at 178th to 180th streets. Residents of the neighborhood told Arlington City Council June 16 that they don't care if their neighbor does a small real estate business out of his house they just don't want the neighborhood to be rezoned commercial.

"Yes, it is because of the taxes," said Carol Lundberg, whose family owns property near the area at 178th Street to 180th Street on Smokey Point Boulevard.

Neil Knutson agreed that taxes are the biggest issue, naming some impressive numbers of how his own taxes have increased through the years.

The person who requested the amendment, Dean Pittinger said himself, "I did not intend to rezone my neighbors. I just want to operate a little office in my house."

City officials have expressed willingness to consider alternatives to rezoning the area from residential to commercial. Planning commissioners suggested holding off on all changes on the boulevard until a big-picture plan is developed for Smokey Point Boulevard North.

Also to be discussed July 21 are some underlying zone changes for two annexation areas designated as master planned neighborhoods with discussions on unit lot subdivisions and cottage housing.

Senior planner Yvonne Page explained that the underlying zone of suburban residential will be added in two areas: the Brekhus-Beach annexation area on Burn Hill, which is the receiving area for the Transfer of Development Rights to preserve agriculture lands in the Stillaguamish Valley, and the Lindsay annexation area south of 172nd Street, west of SR 9.

"This underlying zone will enable individual property owners to proceed with a project before the whole MPN is developed," Page said.

The July 21 hearing will also consider two simple switches of zoning on two small lots near 77th Avenue south of 204th Street. A lot on the street will be switched from residential high density to general commercial and the other lot, set off from 77th, will switch from general commercial to high density residential.

Comp plan amendments continued to Aug. 18 include rezone to allow drive-throughs in the Old Town Business District 1, a proposed expansion to the city's water service area west of I-5, amendments to the water comp plan, the sewer comp plan, the stormwater comp plan and a rezone of the bluff north of 188th Street to Island Crossing called the Cedar Stump rezone, which the city is considering rezoning from light industrial to highway commercial.

The rezone of the lower level of the Graafstra dairy farm from low/moderate residential to public/semipublic for use as a future city park continues on Aug. 18 as well.

For information about the amendments call City Hall at 360-403-3434.

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