Lake Stevens residents want:
• Excellent schools
• A sense of community
• Places where parents and children can relax and recreate, including parks and outdoor areas, retail and entertainment
• Easy access to retailers that supply goods for the middle class and upscale home and family
• Convenient access to work, whether in community or elsewhere
In the last six years the population of Lake Stevens has grown from 6,900 people to just over 28,000 people. This has been achieved through annexations and growth.
Over 77 percent of the households in Lake Stevens are families who enjoy the beauty of the lake and mountain views, the excellent school district and have a strong sense of community.
What Lake Stevens is missing is variety—variety in shopping, restaurants and even employment. That’s what the planning of the 20th St. SE corridor will help bring to the residents of this close-knit community.
City staff and council have been studying different plans for the redevelopment and growth opportunities that exist on 20th St. SE, which will enhance the city’s retail and commercial and will also bring walking neighborhoods and parks to the southern part of the city.
Mayor Vern Little is excited to see what the future holds for this area and Lake Stevens’ citizens.
“It is our goal to provide the needed services for our citizens and community, with the establishment of retail, business and employment center and higher density residential component,” Little said. “Allowing us to connect the city from north to south with a combination of bike and walking trails and adding needed parks.”
Becky Ableman, Planning Director for the City of Lake Stevens, explained that the city council have been given three different options to choose from. The first alternative would be to do nothing. The second alternative includes more retail and office while the third would provide more residential.
City Council will be voting on which alternative to accept in the coming month.
“We’ve analyzed the bookends (i.e. higher residential vs. higher commercial),” Ableman said. “Our goal is to have the zoning complete and the guidelines in place sometime in August. We want to be in the public adoption process by June.”
The city’s primary objective is to increase retail opportunities, add jobs in business parks and to provide a natural setting with views from the Snohomish River Valley to the Olympic Mountains and all the way to Mount Rainer.
Their vision also includes increased transit service, trails and greenbelts which will connect schools, parks and retail centers to local neighborhoods.
“We’ve already been talking to real estate brokers and land owners to generate interest,” Ableman said. “There’s definitely interest.”
With 20th St. SE being the western gateway into Lake Stevens from I-5, it is important that it contain high quality office, mixed use, commercial and residential areas. Enhancing the natural beauty with parks and walkways will make this grand entrance pleasing to the eye as well as serve Lake Stevens citizens with more choices and added sales tax revenue.
“By moving forward with this plan it will help with transportation, jobs to the local area and a revenue to the city allowing us to provide more services as needed,” Little said.
Mixed use centers could increase up to 250 percent to 450,000 gross square feet. Office space within a large office park is planned to increase up to 1.25 million gross square feet or 36 times and housing will increase approximately 1,400 dwellings units, which is two times expected. These figures are compared to current regulations.
To encourage development the city is planning to offer expedited permitting and the completion of environmental studies. This will help developers and future employers save both time and money.
To find out more you can visit the city’s new website at www.lakestevenswa.gov