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Council Agrees on Limits on Richmond Beach Drive

City policy allows only 4,000 trips per day on stretch leading to Point Wells

As far as the city of Shoreline is concerned, the road can’t handle the traffic of a in Snohomish County.

After a vote by its City Council Monday, Shoreline’s official city policy is to allow only 4,000 vehicle trips per day on Richmond Beach Drive in Shoreline, the only road leading in and out of Point Wells.

Controlling traffic limits on a street within its jurisdiction is one tool that the city hopes will lead to negotiations with developer Blue Square Real Estate to reduce the size or at least mitigate the effects of its proposed 3,081 condominium development at Point Wells.

Blue Square in letter submitted to the Planning Commission Jan. 20 by its attorney Gary Huff, claims that the street redesignation from collector arterial to local street is illegal, violating the Growth Management Act and city code.

But Councilmembers and city attorney Ian Sievers believe they are on solid legal footing to make the change based on precedent and past policy.

Monday’s ordinance modifies the Point Wells Subarea Plan to include language that limits allowable trips to 4,000 designating Richmond Beach Drive a local street, going back to what it was before Shoreline became a city, said the city’s transportation services manager Kirk McKinley. In the late 1990s, a change was made to collector arterial, allowing 8,250 trips per day, in preparation for possible annexation and future growth.

As of 2009, the stretch of Richmond Beach Drive in question had 508 trips per day. The road would eventually carry about 10,000 trips per day according to Blue Square’s projections.

The vote by the Council was 6-0, with Deputy Mayor Will Hall recusing himself because of his employment with Snohomish County, which stands to benefit from the development at Point Wells. 

In other Point Wells news, a hearing on a Senate bill that would limit development or at least require an interlocal agreement between the cities of Shoreline and Woodway and Snohomish County to mitigate impacts of the development is slated for 1:30 p.m. The Senate Government Operations and Tribal Relations & Elections Committee will hold the hearing of Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-Edmonds) sponsored bill.

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