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The original item was published from 11/25/2019 5:06:07 PM to 12/28/2019 12:00:15 AM.

News Flash

Everett 2044

Posted on: November 25, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Rethink Zoning - Building Heights

On December 3rd, following a public hearing on the city's Climate Action Plan, the city's Planning Commission will be briefed on a new approach to regulating building heights in the city's zoning code. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

One of the main objectives of Rethink Zoning is to consolidate and simplify code provisions and address inconsistencies. The current zoning code provisions for building and structure heights is a good illustration of the challenges with the existing code.

The current code has standards for heights scattered among ten chapters. There are five different maximum height standards for one industrial zone alone. Many properties have more than one height standard. You can build a 4-story home in single family areas on steeper sites, even though the standard is meant to be limited to 2 1/2 floors (28 feet). These are some of the challenges that the draft chapter hope to address.

Building heights are an important part of the city's development codes. Accommodating new growth requires us to think about building up, but preserving the character of our historic neighborhoods requires us to consider the impact of building up. 

The draft concepts for building and structure heights can be found at this link (click here). The new chapter does not intend to either increase or decrease existing height limits in the city's zoning code, but there are some exceptions that can be read in our memo to the Planning Commission (click here). 

Those that are interested in viewing a city-wide map of the height concepts being considered can click here for a poster size map (17 mb file). 

For more information regarding the time and place of Planning Commission meetings, please visit

If you have any questions or comments regarding Rethink Zoning, please send an email to or call us at 425-257-8731. 

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