Downtown zoning extended


The Mirror

The Federal Way City Council on Tuesday agreed to extend the city’s interim zoning ordinance another six months, but qualified the ordinance to note they plan to repeal it as soon as permanent codes are finished.

State law requires cities to pass interim zoning ordinances in six-month increments, but Councilman Jack Dovey, in an amendment to the council’s decision to extend the ordinance, noted the temporary measure is likely to be repealed long before its June deadline.

“Six months was always considered a long time. Everybody’s been working on this diligently. We need to continue the work without jeopardizing what we’re doing,” he said.

The council will repeal the code when the permanent ordinance is adopted, expected next February, Dovey said.

He added another amendment to remove grocery and hardware stores from the list of banned retail establishments, saying that since the permanent ordinance doesn’t ban them, they shouldn’t have to wait to be allowed to submit applications.

“It makes sense to me,” he said. “We’ve gone this long in the process and since these aren’t going to be part of the project, they should be allowed to be considered.”

The council initially passed the interim zoning ordinance last July as a way to stall development downtown until they had a chance to review the Leland Consulting Group’s market analysis and redevelopment strategies. The ban, which expired Wednesday, also gave staff time to draft new permanent codes.

Officials finished permanent code recommendations in October, and the ordinance outlining them now is working its way through city committees, which are gathering public comments and recommending potential changes.

The council’s decision to extend the development ban came at the request of the Planning Commission, which sought more time to gather public input. The commission passed its recommendations to the council’s Land-Use and Transportation Committee last Wednesday; the committee, headed by Dovey, will begin discussing the issue at its next meeting.

The council voted unanimously (Councilman Mike Park and Mayor

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