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Midtown Task Force conducts preference survey

SNOHOMISH — The Midtown Task Force held its second meeting Aug. 25 to survey the public opinion on the urban design of future Midtown District buildings.
The district is along the Avenue D corridor from 6th Street to where state Route 9 crosses underneath.
The visual preference survey showed example pictures of existing mixed-use buildings, commercial properties, office parks, business parks, open spaces and residential developments to get a general knowledge of how the public wants midtown to look.
Example pictures portrayed what materials and building styles will be used for design standards. Buildings from Wenatchee, Spokane, Kirkland and Issaquah were included in the examples. 
The public preferred designs that were not going to make Snohomish feel like a large town. It was apparent during the meeting that residents of Snohomish care about the look of the Midtown district and want to retain a small-town atmosphere.
Many members of the city council and of the public expressed their opinions. There were about 30 people at the virtual meeting.
Bland storefronts and dull colors are not wanted in Midtown.
Those commenting also mentioned that differentiation between buildings and storefronts is important.
Some comments proved residents didn’t want Snohomish to become a place like Issaquah that was extremely expensive to live in, others said they don’t want it to be too industrial but would like a modern look with modular layouts. 
It appears the general desires for Snohomish, or at least to those who participated, is lots of windows, wooden frames and structures, exposed brick, and pitched roofs. The task force was not surprised by the reactions of the public and even had similar opinions.
The next step for the Midtown district development will consist of staff and consultants analyzing the feedback from citizens of Snohomish. Once the feedback has been analyzed, task force consultants will draft potential comprehensive plan policies. The development of regulations, as well as design standards, will be done by consultants following the public feedback. 

After press time, the city gave an update on the timeline:

The date for Meeting #3 has been postponed until October 13 (from September 22).  That meeting will be from 6-8 p.m. and most likely will be available remotely only.  As a result of this schedule change, the public open house and Task Force Meeting #4 will have to be rescheduled to new dates.  This project likely won’t be able to move forward after Meeting #3 and until in-person meetings are possible as the next step in the process, the public open house, would best be offered as an in-person event.

At the third meeting, the task force will review, discuss, and provide direction on the draft policies, regulations and design standards.
Comments can be sent to the city’s planning director, Glen Pickus, by email to pickus@snohomishwa.gov
For more information regarding the Midtown District, visit: www.snohomishwa.gov/706/Midtown-District

  

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