As 2018 kicks into full swing, Redmond Mayor John Marchione is hoping to continue and refine the city’s growth over the coming year.
Marchione said he had five main priorities he will be focusing on in 2018.
The first will be continuing on working to implement Sound Transit 3 (ST3), which will bring two light rail stations to Redmond by 2024, directly connecting the city to Seattle, Bellevue and SeaTac.
Sound Transit is planning on issuing a request for bids on various projects this year.
With the anticipated growth associated with ST3, Marchione said the city should continue to raise expectations for the city’s future.
“This is the time to raise our standards, not lower our standards,” he said.
This could include changes to the comprehensive code, which requires an update to extend its vision through 2050.
The last update to the comprehensive plan happened between 2002 and 2006. The city will have roughly four years to complete the current update, but Marchione said it will begin working on the plan this year.
Marchione also hopes to improve on the zoning code to both simplify it and make it more predictable and precise.
The second large infrastructure project Marchione will be tending to is a recently announced renovation and expansion of the Microsoft campus that was announced in November.
The new campus will include 2.5 million new square feet of space, for a total of 6.7 million.
Once finished, the Redmond campus will have 131 buildings that will house 47,000 employees with room to expand and accommodate 8,000 more.
Marchione said he will be spending much of his time and energy in the coming year working with ST3 and Microsoft.
“For us to help them get it right means we have to put a lot of resources to it,” he said.
Planning for capital investments and developing infrastructure plans will be a priority in 2018.
This includes standard maintenance of systems like sewer and other basic city services, but also assessing road improvement projects.
The mayor’s office will be reaching out to the city council and community to see what roads projects they would like to see undertaken this year.
Since there are so many roads and streets projects that need to be addressed, Marchione said they need input from residents on which are priorities.
Along with roads and infrastructure, the mayor would like to see the council commission a study on parking in the city.
The council sets its own priorities independent from the mayor’s executive office.
A possible parking study on the downtown core would be used to develop a more aggressive parking management program.
The city doesn’t want to overbuild parking when lots sit vacant, it’s a waste of space, while balancing the needs of residents and commuting employees.
There are three general groups in Redmond whose transportation needs the city has to take into consideration, Marchione said.
The first are downtown residents who heavily walk and use public transit.
The second is people who live in residential neighborhoods and who drive their own vehicles more frequently.
Last is employees who come in from out of town, many of whom also use some form of mass transit.
Some 40 percent of employees in the city use some form of carpool or mass transit, and the mayor’s office would like to see that increased.
This year is a budget year and the city will be working to develop a budget for the 2019-2021 biennial cycle.
The mayor’s office will begin public outreach and form a team of local residents to rank budget priorities. A web survey and a statistically valid poll on the city’s performance will also be conducted, Marchione said.
A draft budget will be compiled by the mayor’s office by August and sent to the city council in October.
Continuing to orient the city around the needs of citizens is another area Marchione hopes to expand on.
“We restructure our processes for what is convenient for the customer,” he said.
As a whole, Marchione said he feels confident in the direction the city is headed in 2018 and beyond.
“We have become more efficient every year, we’re getting the key projects done,” he said.
Marchione will be speaking at the annual State of the City breakfast hosted by OneRedmond at 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 15 at the Seattle Marriott Redmond.