The City of Redmond and Port of Seattle celebrated the City’s acquisition of the Redmond section of the former Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Corridor in a signing ceremony and reception in late June.
The Redmond corridor is 3.89 miles long and runs from milepost (MP) 7.3, at the end of King County’s East Lake Sammamish Trail, just west SR 520 and Bear Creek to NE 124th Street.
The City planned for this acquisition for over 10 years. The property will allow the City to meet many Comprehensive Plan goals from implementation of capital projects to spurring economic development in Downtown. This purchase will also allow the City to control the uses within this corridor more effectively, beginning with the 161st Street NE Extension project and the Downtown Stormwater Trunk Line.
The City is currently seeking funding to implement other projects in the vicinity such as the 164th Street Extension, the development of a regional trail through downtown and returning Cleveland Street and Redmond Way to two-way operation.
Mayor John Marchione accepts the Cascade Agenda Leadership Award from the Cascade Land Conservancy. The City received this award in partnership with the Cascade Water Alliance, King County, Port of Seattle, Puget Sound Energy and Sound Transit for their efforts to secure the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail corridor for
By Tom Hinman, Redmond Planning Commission Chair
The Planning Commission’s job is to “monitor growth and development issues and to evaluate and recommend revisions to land use policies and regulations.” The Municipal Code says that we are to advise the City Council regarding comprehensive park, land use and development policy and special area concerns and also investigate and make recommendations on matters suggested by the Council, the Mayor, Redmond citizens or upon its own initiative. The Redmond Planning Commission does this in two basic ways.
This is the City's long-range planning document containing goals and policies to manage future growth. The Comprehensive Plan is the strategic plan for the development of Redmond and is fully updated periodically – the next cycle coming in 2010-11. Private land owners and the City can request amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, which the Commission hears as an advisory body forwarding recommendations to the City Council. Recent examples are the Idylwood (formerly Viewpoint) Neighborhood Plan and functional plans like the new PARCC Plan covering Parks, Arts, Recreation, Culture & Conservation.
Community Development Guide
The City's Zoning Code and Land Use Regulations are the primary means to implement policies established in the Comprehensive Plan. Because the Community Development Guide has evolved as Redmond has grown, some sections of the zoning code became awkward to access. To alleviate this difficulty, the City has constituted a temporary Code Rewrite Commission (CRC) to review and reorganize this document from top to bottom. Two Planning Commissioners have been named to serve on the CRC for continuity. The CRC is working with the City Council’s Planning and Public Works Committee as this effort continues toward a planned completion next spring.
It is important to realize that the Planning Commission’s job is to evaluate and recommend the policy and zoning framework within which our community develops. Once that legislative task is accomplished, the City staff, exercising administrative authority through a Technical Committee, actually reviews project plans and issues building permits.
The Planning Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council for 4-year terms.
Current Planning Commissioners:
Tom Hinman joined the Planning Commission in 2005 and became Chair in 2010. He resides in the Overlake neighborhood and was a Planning Commissioner in California before moving to Redmond.
Franz Gregory was appointed to the Planning Commission in 2008 and now serves as Vice-Chair. He and his wife, Gretl, have lived in the Idylwood neighborhood for 34 years are active in school district, business and civic affairs.
Vibhas Chandorkar has been with the Planning Commission since 2007. He is currently on loan to the Code Rewrite Commission. He lives in the Overlake neighborhood with his wife and two children.
Robert O’Hara was appointed to the Planning Commission in 2009. He has been a resident in the Overlake neighborhood since 1993.
Scott Biethan joined the Planning Commission in 2009. He resides in the Education Hill neighborhood and has worked in the real estate industry since 1984.
Phil Miller joined the Planning Commission in 2009. He lives in the Grass Lawn neighborhood and previously served on the Pedestrian/Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Trails Commission.
Passion Julinsey joined the Planning Commission in October 2009 after serving on the Viewpoint (Idylwood) Citizen Advisory Committee. She has lived in North Redmond and Idylwood since 2004.
Thom Youngblood was involved in a downtown planning project in Renton before moving to Education Hill. He joined the Planning Commission in 2009 and is also serving on the Code Rewrite Commission.
Canaan Bontadelli is the newest Planning Commission member, appointed in April, 2010. He is a practicing design engineer who has lived in Grass Lawn since 2001.
How You Can Participate
We want to hear from you. Citizens can make their voices heard in a number of ways – testimony at hearings, during the public comment period reserved at the beginning of each Commission meeting, by attending City community meetings and workshops held by the Planning Department, in written/emailed comments to City staff or by contacting us directly at email@example.com.
In addition, Planning Commission meetings are shown live on RCTV Channel 21 from 7-10pm on Wednesday nights, repeated several times through the week and available on the City’s website. The Planning Commissioners are your neighbors and representatives, working so that Redmond can continue to be the community we can all enjoy.