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Future building heights along Avenue D discussed

SNOHOMISH — The city’s Midtown District task force held its third meeting spanning two separate dates, Oct. 13 and Oct. 27. The meeting was extended to a second day because of long discussions regarding policy, code and design standard concepts.
Task force members were asked to vote on various design proposals and requirements along the Avenue D corridor that makes up Midtown.
Building height was discussed at length, and it was requested by one task force member that in the future that heights be measured in terms of floors not feet. In the south overlay zone, the task force was split almost evenly regarding maximum building height: 58% were in favor of the maximum height being set at 45 feet while 42% favored 35 feet.
A question was asked if larger taller buildings should be uniformly in the north overlay zone north of 10th Street or on the larger lots in the south overlay south of 10th Street as well. The task force was split down the middle.
Maximum building height in the north overlay of 55 feet was favored at 58%, while 25% wanted to allow heights of 75 feet, which is up to seven floors. Two task force members wanted to keep the current limits of 35 feet.
Design standards were discussed such as materials and frontage design. It was requested that the policies promote certain materials rather than set requirements. The thinking behind this was most of the frontage designs that were preferred featured multiple materials, such as brick and wood.
Parking in Midtown was talked about during the Oct. 27 meeting, such as to allow tandem parking for town home units and reducing the current requirements for studio and one-bedroom apartments, to one space per unit. In polls, the task force supported relaxing the minimum off-street parking capacity requirements at developments, which relate to how many parking spaces need to be built.
Several task force members raised concerns during the final comments. Kat Thompson feared the frontage setbacks and landscaping requirements could hinder the ability to widen Avenue D if traffic increases from the higher density of development. Task force member Alice Armstrong stressed her desire for landscaping requirements and including a requirement of evergreen species.
The next step for the task force will be to host an open house. The details are to be determined and will be released in coming weeks.  



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