On Dec. 15, Bothell City Council approved several changes or additions to the city’s comprehensive plan, known as “Imagine Bothell.”
Perhaps most notably, council gave the OK to zoning for an 11-acre mixed-use development known as Greenhill that could eventually spring up adjacent to the new Safeway store — at the Lakeside at Canyon Park shopping center — planned for State Route 527 and 240th Street.
Greenhill project manager Deloa Parrish said the project is an attempt to create a community where residents can walk everywhere, with shopping and other amenities nearby.
One of those amenities clearly is the planned Safeway supermarket. According to Parrish, Greenhill and Safeway plan on sharing construction of a new road, basically a connector between SR 527 and 88th Street Northeast.
The road intersects with both projects providing additional access, but Parrish said one idea also is to cut down on traffic using strictly residential streets to cut through to the major roads in that area of Bothell.
For now, the road construction is apparently on hold. Parrish said the Safeway portion is slated to be constructed first, with the Greenhill portion to follow. Until Safeway sets a timetable for construction of the road, Parrish said Greenhill can’t set up a specific timetable for their own work.
A call to Safeway’s corporate headquarters was not returned. Parrish said the Safeway site is fully excavated but no construction has taken place. Parrish said she believes the faltering economy, particularly a tight credit market, is affecting the Safeway project and could ultimately affect progress on Greenhill, as well.
Parrish did not put a price tag on the Greenhill development.
City Council apparently has spent plenty of time reviewing plans for Greenhill, what Parrish called the first mixed-use development for her company, Greenhill Communities.
On Dec 15, the only real discussion by council revolved around the possibility of a walking/bicycle trail within buffer zones surrounding any commercial development.
In the end, with two members absent, council approved the trial plan by a 3-2 vote. Councilman Patrick Ewing was one of those voting against the trail, arguing a buffer zone should be exactly that and consist largely of unused, empty space.
Partly in connection with the Greenhill and Safeway projects, council adopted into the master plan the alignment for the connector street between SR 527 and 88th Street.
According to city spokesperson Joyce Goedeke, the street has been part of the master plan for Bothell since 2004. City officials had formerly dubbed the connector the Northeast 203rd Street connector. Now officially the 243rd Street Southeast connector, council formally approved the plans for the street earlier this year.
Finally, council gave their OK and adopted into the master plan an agreement with the city of Brier regarding a long-standing dispute over the Municipal Urban Growth Area (MUGA) between the two communities. City officials said the agreed on compromise follows existing fire-district boundaries, a plan first proposed by Bothell officials, according to Mayor Mark Lamb. Ewing objected to what he called the impractical nature of the MUGA boundary as proposed, but administrators said the agreement could be a starting point for further talks with Brier.
Lamb noted the Brier/Bothell MUGA issue has been on the table at least since he was elected to council in 2004. He said the compromise defines what could be the city’s boundaries if officials decide to annex areas to the north of Bothell as is under consideration.