City seeks input on rezone of new annexation

ARLINGTON — After several months of continuing a public hearing on a proposed rezone of Smokey Point Boulevard, the Arlington Planning Commission finally approved the city’s proposal, with two minor changes. The proposed rezone is for the newly annexed area of Smokey Point Boulevard north of 188th Street.

Arlington City Council will hold a public hearing on the comprehensive plan amendment Tuesday, Feb. 17. (The regular Monday meeting is postponed to Tuesday due to Presidents Day.)

The rezone in the recently annexed area from 188th Street to 200th, is from light industrial to highway commercial, except for a couple of lots on 188th Street near a residential area. That will remain light industrial. The area south of the I-5 Rest Stop was originally planned for a rezone from moderate density residential to high density, but members of the planning commission requested keeping it at moderate density.

“I just hate to see some big apartment buildings in that nice neighborhood,” said commissioner Vicki Hadley.

The easternmost lots in the annexation area were found to be in the path of the airport flightline, making light industrial more appropriate than highway commercial.

“Before the December public hearing before the planning commission, concerns were raised from the Arlington Municipal Airport regarding permissible uses east of 35th Avenue as it lies in the flight path,” said Kristin Banfield, the city’s spokesperson.

“The airport is trying to regulate the number of residences permitted in that area.”

At that time staff suggested having a highway commercial zoning east of 35th Avenue with a restriction that no residential be permitted. After further discussion, the Planning Commission felt it may be best to leave the area east of 35th zoned light industrial as this zone does not permit residential uses.

After reviewing the city’s permissible use table planning staff recommended the business park zoning as it allowed similar uses as the light industrial, but with stricter design standards and still does not allow residential, Banfield said.

At its Feb. 2 hearing the Planning Commission took additional testimony from the public and had discussion with planning staff regarding the proposed zoning of highway commercial and business park east of 35th Avenue.

“The commission discussed the four parcels south of the rest area and felt that since the area to the south was zoned moderate density residential that these four parcels should have the same zoning, because it currently contains single family residences and because it lies at the end of a dead end street and this zoning would create less traffic compared to the highway commercial or high density zones,” Banfield said.

A motion was then made to recommend to the City Council to rezone the Cedar Stump area east of 35th Avenue to business park, the four lots south of the rest area to moderate density residential and the remaining area to highway commercial.

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