The City of Everett Planning Department has released draft maps that would reduce the number of zoning districts from 31 to 12 throughout the city. Planners have also prepared new ‘use tables’ which establish the uses permitted in each zone.
In the past year, City planners have discussed ways to make our zoning and development codes simpler while protecting community values. Input from our Planning Commission, interested community members and business owners, and our elected officials helped frame the draft land use and zoning maps that City planners have released for input. The Planning Commission will be briefed on these drafts Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Historic City Hall (3002 Wetmore Ave.). The public is invited to attend. A briefing to City Council is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m.
In the draft zoning maps, the 31 different zoning districts are reduced to 12. There would be two single-family zones, two multifamily zones, three commercial mixed-use zones, three industrial zones and two local resource zones. The new zoning map can be viewed online.
One of the objectives of Rethink Zoning is to minimize changes in land use, such as changing single-family land use to multifamily. While drafting the new zoning maps, City planners found several places where a land use amendment was warranted. In most cases, the amendment reflects what is actually built. For example, there are several examples of residential development in commercially zoned areas that are recent developments; City planners don’t see those areas changing to commercial in the next 20 years.
There are some areas south of Metro Everett, however, that were developed as clinic and office uses in residential zones, such as Everett Clinic between Rucker and Colby. City planners drafted changes in these areas to go from residential land use to commercial. The Norton-Grand neighborhood south of Pacific to 35th has been designated for multifamily development for decades. This historic neighborhood is shown in the draft maps being changed from multifamily to single-family, with a transit overlay due to its proximity to Swift transit stops. A full report on the land use changes can be viewed online.
In conjunction with the zoning maps, City planners drafted a new use chapter for the Everett Municipal Code, which establishes the uses permitted in each zone. This effort also reflects a reduction in the number of uses from 158 unique uses currently in the zoning code to 81 uses. City planners tried to keep uses similar, but have drafted some changes where additional input is being sought. These changes include:
- Eliminating the requirement that bed and breakfast inns are allowed only in homes that are designated historic
- Allowing townhouses and other "middle housing" options in single-family zones
- Reserving multifamily zones for multifamily and not allowing detached single-family
- Allowing cottage housing in single-family zones
- Redefining how zoning addresses group housing
- No longer considering supportive housing as a separate land use, but considering it as multifamily
- Regulating short-term rentals (vacation rental homes)
- Redefining clinic use to not include dentists, psychiatrists, chiropractors and physical therapists
- Allowing public parks in all zones if a plan is approved by City Council
- Allowing light rail in commercial and industrial zoning districts with a development agreement approved by City Council
You can read the memo to the mayor, Council and Planning Commission online. Visit everettwa.gov/rethink for additional information about Rethink Zoning.
If you are unable to attend and/or have questions or comments, please contact the Planning office by phone at 425-257-8731 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also want to let people know that Everett Essentials, the City’s civic academy course that helps community members learn how our city functions, is open for applications through Jan. 20. Visit everettwa.gov/EverettEssentials to learn more and submit your application.