Redmond City Council approves land-use proposals

The Redmond City Council held public hearings on two land-use projects on Nov. 7.

The first was on a proposal concerning the Group Health Overlake Village plan that was approved in 2011.

The project will include a minimum of 1,400 residential units, a 2.7 acre public park, off-site tree mitigation and at least 25,000 square feet of office and retail space along 152nd Avenue Northeast. It will also include a hotel and conference center.

The developers requested two amendments in 2015.

One of the requested changes is to allow residential development in commercially designated lots.

This would mean there would be the potential for multifamily housing to be created and increase the number of affordable units. The city currently requires developers to set aside 10 percent of all new units to be classified as affordable housing.

According to the city’s comprehensive plan, there is projected to be around 10,550 residents in the Overlake urban center by 2030 with roughly 5,700 housing units.

There were estimated to be around 2,300 of these units in the area around the proposed development, and there are currently 1,756 that have been built or are under construction.

If this project expansion, as well as other projects in the area, are completed, it could bring the potential housing-unit count up to 3,030.

The developers also requested an increase in height restrictions.

The project area is zoned for a maximum building height of six stories. Imagine Housing is requesting they build up to eight stories.

City staff in a report said this six-story restriction was likely implemented to retain a “more human level along busy pedestrian streets.”

However, since neighboring blocks have already been built out, and contain multiple seven-story buildings, including a hotel and a multifamily building, staff said allowing an eight-story development would likely not interfere with the neighborhood character.

If buildings are set back at least 50 feet, they can extend to up to 12 stories under city code.

Three plots of city-owned land were also considered for being put on the market as surplus.

These include a 33,444-square-foot former water reservoir tank in the 9600 block of 175th Place Northeast in Education Hill. This site is zoned for single-family development.

The reservoir was abandoned in the 1960s when the Education Hill water tank was constructed.

A roughly 21,900-square-foot property along Lake Sammamish in the Idylwood neighborhood was also considered.

It was bought in 2013 so the city could construct a manhole to access the sewer line underneath. It is also zoned for single-family use.

Finally, another former reservoir that is located on Northeast 28th Street and 172nd Avenue Northeast will be surplused. It is a roughly 15,700-square-foot reservoir and is zoned for residential use.

City staff said they anticipated the properties could be sold by the end of the year.

Both proposals were approved by the city council.

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