Everything I do as a City Councilmember revolves around several key goals:
- Road resurfacing
- Woodinville-Duvall Road Improvements
- Planning growth through 2035
- Tree code, hazard areas, and grading codes
- Commercial architectural standards
With hard work and persistence, and the help of citizens, nonprofits, and elected officials all over the region, we've lined up some important accomplishments over the past four years. They show you how I've kept my promises:
- Road resurfacing: Resurfacing reinforces roads before small cracks turn into costly potholes—it's an economical ounce of prevention that saves us from having to pay for the pound of cure. We’re on pace to refinish all the city’s roads in about 15 years, before the old road surfaces become expensive. And to help in planning, we’ve budgeted for a pavement condition assessment for 2018.
- Woodinville-Duvall Road Improvements: Yes, the Woodinville-Duvall Road project was much slower and more disruptive than planned, and there are unresolved issues around the landscaping. But we ended up with a left-turn lane, traffic signals, sidewalks, bike lanes, and better stormwater management. Those upgrades directly benefit Woodinville citizens, students at Wellington Elementary and Leota Middle School, and the salmon run in Bear Creek.
- Planning growth through 2035: In 2015, all Puget Sound cities were required to plan for their projected housing and job growth through the year 2035. Done poorly, this process can be terribly disruptive to a community. We were able to achieve our growth targets – nearly doubling in population, increasing our jobs base by about 20 percent, and planning for the new transportation infrastructure that these levels of growth require – without upzoning single-family neighborhoods and with only a 1% increase in the small proportion of property tax that comes back to the city. Planning for growth includes applying for grants and lobbying for a greater allocation of transit spending; those are ongoing efforts by both staff and the Council.
- Tree code, hazard areas, and grading codes: In 2016, all cities were required to update their critical areas ordinances. In Woodinville, we also updated our tree code. And, for the first time, Woodinville implemented grading codes. This may sound boring but it’s actually a big deal. We now have a much clearer picture of where our landslide and erosion hazards are located. We require reporting when large amount of earth are moved, and limits on how steep the resulting man-made slopes are. And we are moving toward changes that allow existing homeowners to remove dangerous trees, while providing incentives for developers to retain trees in subdivisions.
- Commercial architectural standards: One of the most common complaints I hear is Woodinville’s chain-store downtown. Citizens treasure Molbaks and the small number of locally owned businesses and restaurants, but would love to see more local businesses and a downtown that feels like home. I started pushing for these changes in 2008, and the process began seriously in 2016. With input from Council, staff, and citizens, consultants created a draft of architectural guidelines that the Planning Commission has passed. After more public input and Council action, we’ll be able to translate these guidelines into building code requirements. The changes include more interesting storefronts; more public art; more attention to sidewalks and bikeways; and use of architecture, color, and materials to create a more welcoming streetscape.