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At their September 26 special meeting, the City Council adopted a series of ordinances to put the updated Town Center Subarea Plan into effect. The actions followed nine public meetings before the City Council, extensive outreach and a 19-month public process. Following adoption of the plan and its supporting documents, the audience applauded in approval.
The Town Center Subarea Plan will encourage revitalization of downtown Mountlake Terrace. It updates existing plans and development regulations to develop a center with offices, housing, retail stores and community amenities. Highlights of the updated plan include a new Town Center District boundary, creation of a Town Center reserve area (TC-R), amended zoning code and design standards, and implementation of a Planned Action Ordinance that streamlines the environmental review process.
Increasing jobs and housing in the Town Center helps the city meet its obligations under the state’s Growth Management Act to accommodate population growth. Updated zoning in the TC-1 areas will allow up to 12-story buildings near the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center and future light rail station. The downtown core, TC-2 area, will allow heights from 4-8 stories. The TC-3 area will allow from 4-6 stories. These heights will create the housing and job density needed in the Town Center to support adding more retail opportunities. Experts in the field have stated that adding density is necessary if the city wishes to attract a grocery store that has been widely requested since the sale and subsequent demolition of Rogers Market near the Civic Campus.
The updated plan was the result of work that began with the appointment of an Economic Vitality and Town Center Task Force recruited in February of 2018. The Task Force recommended updates in December of 2018 and forwarded the plan to the Planning Commission who made their recommendation in July of 2019.
“This plan update brings together the city’s obligation under state law to accommodate population growth, and the density needed to attract the retail businesses the community wants,” said Scott Hugill, City Manager.
The city would like to thank the Task Force, Planning Commission, residents and businesses for participating in this process.