Dismayed Port of Edmonds Withdraws Harbor Square Redevelopment Plan

The Port of Edmonds has withdrawn its application to the city for a major mixed retail residential development downtown near the marina after the City Council moves to craft its own plan.


Apparently exasperated with the Edmonds City Council’s lack of support, the Port of Edmonds withdrew its application to the city for a proposed major redevelopment of Harbor Square downtown into a five-story mixed residential/retail complex with 3.8 acres of public open space.

The Port of Edmonds Commission Monday night authorized Port Director Bob McChesney to withdraw the port's application to modify the city’s Comprehensive Plan for the proposal. McChesney sent a letter doing just that Tuesday morning (see the attached PDF file).

The letter says it became apparent after much discussion by the city council that “there was not sufficient support to obtain a majority vote for acceptance of the Planning Board’s recommendation to approve, with conditions, the proposed Harbor Square Master Plan...”

The letter complains that instead, the council voted to stop consideration of the port’s plan and craft it own. Sources close to the port told Kirkland Patch port officials felt the port had invested too much time and money over some three years, in consultants’ fees, studies, steering committee meetings and public meetings to move forward without stronger support from the council.

“The process was conducted in an open and transparent manner, beyond any normal standard,” the letter said. “Frankly, the the formal dismissal of the Port’s Master Plan..has been disappointing and discouraging to the Commission, the Port Staff, as well as to the many Edmonds/Woodway residents who worked hundreds of hours in developing the proposal.”

The project site is at State Route 204 and Dayton Street near the Edmonds Marina. It is described by the port like this:

The Harbor Square Master Plan submitted to the City for inclusion in the Comprehensive Plan envisions a mixed-use transit oriented development. The mixed use nature of the Master Plan will allow for retail, commercial, office, public uses and residential housing.

The SEPA checklist indicates a redeveloped Harbor Square consistent with the Master Plan could provide 340 to 358 residential units, 50,400 square feet of retail, 9,784 square feet of office, 123,410 square feet of recreational health club uses (including tennis courts), 3.8 acres of public open space and 1,091 spaces of off-street parking.

The Master Plan also envisions buildings up to 55 feet in height. Buildings of 35 feet are proposed for the SR-104/Dayton Street intersection while buildings of 45 feet are proposed along Dayton Street (with step back provisions for portions above 35 feet). Five story buildings (55 feet) would be located at the far southern edge of the site.

The city of Edmond is expected to issue a press release in response later today, and Edmonds Patch will update this story.


For previous Edmonds Patch coverage of the project:

  • Public Has Chance to Comment Again on Harbor Square Master Plan
  • Time for Your Opinion on the Redevelopment of Harbor Square
  • Edmonds City Council to Consider Harbor Square Redevelopment Plan
Ben Cain April 10, 2013 at 04:59 PM
This is not surprising. I haven't followed this project closely and do not have any strong feelings about it but. . . . . . . . I was a Port Commissioner through the tragic collapse of the Marina and all through the rebuild. Something I would never want to go through again. We had to deal with everybody! I think we got sued twice by everybody because of a 500 year storm and conditions. We dealt with the lawyers, the insurance companies, FEMA, EPA, the State of WA and on and on. By far the most difficult people we had to deal with was the City of Edmonds. There seems to be a mentality that, even today, prevails even though there are different people on the Council now. They, like our State and Federal politicians are more interested in getting reelected than working on the problems connected to "governing". I declined to run again after 7 years mainly because I was so frustrated with the politics and the process of making decisions for a political body. There is a tendency to listen to the noisy constituents because it is the path of least resistance. I confess to doing this at times even though I knew it was wrong. They are not always right. Most people who live in the Edmonds Port District do not understand the relationship between the City and the Port. So I am not critical of the decision to do it or not do it as I am not qualified to make that decision. I am critical of the Council's approach and process to solving problems. Ben Cain
Tere Ryder April 10, 2013 at 10:44 PM
You guys can run for office, tear down, rip apart, develop and get money from special interests, real estate, development companies, construction, etc. until the cow comes home, but it is not going to change the facts of what many of you have done to the environment in the past 15-30 years for short term financial interests. The people of Edmonds have said over and over again that they do not want this slick development, tall buildings, etc. ......It is not even creative or attractive in any type of architectural way.......Two of the best architecturally presented newer buildings here have been sitting empty for some time now and if they can't get tenants......... The buildings in the brochure looked he same as all the other development that has happened across the country, and it ALL LOOKS exactly THE SAME......Certainly not what would bring people to this beach town.......It is a no brainer......It is about the MOUNTAINS, WATER, BEACH, SUNSETS, WILDLIFE and BIRDS, and walks down a QUAINT MAIN STREET........a slower pace, where one can actually contemplate how lucky we are to have these beautiful natural wonders right here. And you are right, that earthquake is coming. I can see why there were so many lawsuits with the damage from the storm...... with everything that was torn down and ripped apart in the past 30 years from developers who don't really care what happens down the road......or how unstable the land has become. We all live in the same environment
Greg Johnston April 10, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Not to change the subject, but Jerry, did you teach at Shorecrest High?
Randy Hayden April 11, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Tere you seem to be concerned about this great little planet we live on? Bottom line is people need a place to live. This project would develop a place where people could live and have a small impact on our planet. From this area they could commute to downtown Seattle by rail, no car needed, walk to everything that they need to sustain them. Without this development you encourage urban development and a much larger carbon footprint. You can't legislate on emotion it has to be done on facts.
Brad H. April 12, 2013 at 05:11 PM
"never build on a beach" Great, NOW you tell me. *dodges a piece of driftwood that just crashed through my new living room window*


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »