The City Council held a public hearing on a request to amend the table of allowed uses listed for the Town Center zoning districts on Monday, May 17. Specifically, the request is to remove the restriction on locating medical/health care uses on designated “Corner Storefronts” that would affect the TC-1, TC-2, and TC-3 Zones in the 2019 Town Center Plan.
The 2019 Plan was the result of an extended public process with an appointed 11-member Economic Development and Town Center Task Force that worked to update the original Town Center Plan adopted in 2007. The update simplified the number of zoning sub-districts and removed the requirement for commercial uses on the ground floor for most development to allow residential uses on the ground floor. One exception was at select corner storefront designations to ensure that corners in the Town Center remained active on evenings and weekends. This restriction was part of the broader Town Center Plan to tie in pedestrian activity throughout the downtown.
The previous commercial requirement was removed on almost every frontage from the old Town Center Plan with the exception of these corner spaces and certain streets, and the Planning Commission recommending denying this request because it is not consistent with the 2019 Town Center Plan.
The specific request came from a pediatrician office that would like to relocate into Mountlake Terrace and into the corner space in the new Atlas 236 building located at 23511 56th Avenue West. In the Town Center Plan, this corner location is zoned for commercial uses intended to activate the highly visible corner during evenings and weekends, and prompt pedestrian flow.
The applicant noted that their business would bring 100 customers a day to the city as well as staff who would utilize other businesses in our city during their office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and weekend days. The space would be vacant during the hours the Task Force intended the space to be active in the evenings. The applicant stated they plan to have a restaurant in the adjoining space, not located on the corner, which would be open in the evenings.
The City Council was introduced to this proposal in late April and during the public hearing, new options were presented. It was noted the request to update the table of uses would apply to all the corner spaces, 18 in all, and not this one location.
Following public testimony and remarks from the applicant, the Council asked for additional information and time to review the proposal. They moved to continue the public hearing until their June 7 meeting.
To learn more about the Town Center Subarea Plan, visit the city’s website at www.cityofmlt.com/1936. To testify for the public hearing, you may email the City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or testify verbally at the meeting via Zoom teleconference or telephone. Emailed testimony must be received by 4:00 p.m. on June 7 to be included in the record. For meeting information, please visit www.cityofmlt.com/129.