What’s Included in the Redmond 2050 Project?
- Redmond Comprehensive Plan
- Envisioning the Future
- Environmental Review (SEPA)
- Other Plan & Code Updates
The primary focus of this project will be the update to the Redmond Comprehensive Plan.
Requirements for Periodic Updates to the Comprehensive Plan
The Growth Management Act (GMA) requires that each Washington city and county periodically review and, if needed, revise its comprehensive plan and development regulations as part of a periodic review cycle (RCW 36.70A.130). Staff has developed a comprehensive and coordinated approach for completing this required periodic review update: Redmond 2050.
Redmond 2050 will consider and integrate the following state, regional, and county requirements into the anticipated periodic review.
- The GMA periodic review checklist that will be provided by the Department of Commerce, which addresses minimum compliance with the state law and identifies policy and regulatory updates required under new state laws;
- The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) periodic review checklist, the Regional Growth Strategy and multi-county planning policies provided for in the PSRC’s Vision 2050 Regional plan; and
- The Countywide Planning Policies (CPPs) adopted by King County (pending), which address growth management issues in King County.
The GMA requires a periodic update every eight years, per the schedule provided in RCW 36.70A.130. In early 2020, the State Legislature extended the deadline by one additional year, so the next update is due by July 1, 2024 (HB 2342 - 2019-20).
Updates to the plan will be determined by a community visioning process, environmental review, key planning projects that are underway (including the Housing Action Plan), review of existing conditions, legislative updates, and extensive community involvement.
How much are we going to grow?
The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is tasked with reviewing the state's growth ranges for our region and adopting the regional growth policies and projections, and how that projected growth will be allocated throughout the region. PSRC is preparing for the next periodic review cycle and has issued a draft VISION 2050 Plan with updated regional growth strategies that include growth targets by area types.
King County is currently developing growth targets for the county communities based on the draft VISION 2050 plan. The growth targets are one of the first required aspect of the Comprehensive Plan update -- the growth assigned to Redmond will inform the update of the Redmond Comprehensive Plan and related functional plans and regulations. King County will release the growth allocations for cities in November/December of 2020.
Here's what we know right now:
PSRC Vision 2050 Regional Growth Projections
|Population Growth||Employment Growth|
|King County will receive 50% of the regional growth - 872,000|
11 Core cities* will receive 40% of that growth - 346,000
|King County will receive 59% of the regional growth - 682,000|
Core cities* will receive 40% of that growth - 310,000
*Redmond is one of 11 Core Cities in King County.
Once we know how much growth will be allocated to Redmond, we'll need to address:
- Where is that growth going to go?
- What will that growth look like?
- What are the impacts and how can they be avoided or mitigated?
The City has hired IBI Group to help the community discuss these key questions and how we will take that vision and implement it through plan, policy, and regulatory updates.
Part of the answer to the "where will growth go" question has been determined at the regional level. Vision 2050 includes the following policy:
MPP-RGS-8 Attract 65% of the region’s residential growth and 75% of the region’s employment growth to the regional growth centers and high-capacity transit station areas.
… As jurisdictions plan for growth targets, focus development near high-capacity transit to achieve the regional goal.
What this means for Redmond is that most of growth will have to go into Overlake, Downtown, and Marymoor (the areas around the light rail stations). How that will be distributed between those areas, where the remaining growth will go, and what growth will look like (housing unit types, building heights, design standards, etc) will be discussed during the visioning phase through a series of community discussions and through the development and analysis of market-based Land Use Scenarios.
Unified Environmental Review
The Environmental review for this project will meet the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements and will consist of a number of elements, as shown below, and an Environmental Impact Statement. The City has hired BERK Consulting to assist with the environmental review and documentation for the Redmond 2050 project. The environmental review will be combined for all plans, codes, and policies updates under the Redmond 2050 project.
- Scoping - Environmental review will begin with a community scoping process that will obtain community input on what items should be evaluated during this update.
- Impacts of growth scenarios - The BERK consulting team will work with IBI to ensure that environmental review is incorporated into the Land Use Scenarios that will be developed during the visioning phase of this project. This will help to ensure that the community has environmental impacts to consider when looking at different growth scenarios.
- How to avoid/mitigate impacts - An Environmental Impact Statement is anticipated for this project, which will include measure to avoid and/or mitigate impacts.
- Planned Action(s) - Planned Actions are area-wide analysis of development impacts / mitigation measures. The Overlake Planned Action has run it's course, with most of the growth, mitigation, and incentives adopted under the planned action having been utilized. This project will establish a new Planned Action for Overlake and will consider if the City would also like a Planned Action for Downtown and/or Marymoor.
- Updated environmental baseline data - Consolidating decades of SEPA documents and updating the City's environmental review data so that environmental reviews moving forward will have a more recent baseline year to review against.
This SEPA effort for Redmond 2050 is an opportunity to review successes and roadblocks to achieving the desired growth and environmental mitigation. It is also an opportunity to clean up and simplify the requirements under the multiple documents through a unified process. BERK will also assist with research on mitigation best practices and a review of updated science-based measures.
Overlake Planned Action
As part of the Urban Centers element of the Comprehensive Plan, last updated in 2007, Overlake is one of two Urban Centers that will be key in accommodating future growth targets. While the current plan describes a broad vision for Overlake, refinements are needed to reflect the community’s long-term vision for the area, the changing urban environment, and to clarify the goals for key elements such as parks, open space, transportation, and development standards. The neighborhood plan also needs to be updated to account for change: including the Microsoft Redmond Campus Refresh and the Esterra Park Project and to prepare for the changes that Sound Transit’s extension of light rail will bring.
Additionally, the following important development incentives will need to be updated>
- Overlake Planned Action. Thorough up-front analysis of impacts and mitigation measures of future development and growth that will facilitate and expedite environmental review of subsequent development projects.
- Overlake Incentive Program Updates to the Comprehensive Plan and related regulatory updates provide new opportunities to reduce development costs while advancing neighborhood goals.
All area plans, functional plans, policies, regulations, and programs must be in conformance with the adopted Comprehensive Plan. To implement the Comp Plan and to ensure that everything is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, these other documents will need to be updated as well. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Transportation Master Plan
- Overlake Village Stormwater and Park Facilities Implementation Plan
- General Sewer Plan
- General Water Plan
- Watershed Management Plan
- Emergency Management Plan
- PARCC Plan
- Public Safety Master Plan
- Stormwater Comprehensive Plan
- Utilities Strategic Plan
The Redmond Zoning Code will also be updates, and there may also be updates to the Redmond Municipal Code (to be determined by the updates needed to accomodate growth and implement the vision).
- Environmental baseline information will be brought up-to-date and streamlined into and easy to access and understand format.
- The update incorporates required environmental (SEPA) review and allows the community to update environmental concerns and objectives and new knowledge about environmental planning (e.g. climate change, “smart” cities, etc).
- Updated State and regional planning goals & requirement will be incorporated, including focusing growth into urban centers and areas near the new light-rail stations, which will limit the impacts of growth on other areas.
- Updates that promote multi-modal transit options and prepares for Light Rail will decrease personal automobile use and associated pollutants.
- The Overlake Planned Action will be updated for anticipated growth, continuing to evaluate and mitigate impacts area-wide instead of by-project for more effective environmental stewardship and mitigation planning.
- The update to the Overlake Village Stormwater and Park Facilities Implementation Plan will minimize stormwater runoff impacts to the environment and facilitate the acquisition of stormwater permits from the state.
- The update will incorporate equity and inclusive community goals into plans, policies, and regulations.
- Visioning and Public Involvement will allow community members articulate values and decide what Redmond will look like and what the community character should be as we grow. Updates to the development regulations and design standards.
- This update will incorporate Housing Action Plan items to increase affordable housing. This will include plan, policy, and regulatory updates.
- Planned Actions make development review more timely, cost-effective, and predicable, which may translate into lower housing costs.
- Improving the balance of jobs to housing so people can live close to work reduces travel times, increasing quality of life.
- Ensuring quality of life needs are addressed in the updates (parks, city services, etc.) is important, including ensuring equal access to services for residents in Overlake.
- A clear plan for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) development and updated zoning may allow Sound Transit to do more innovative projects that may result in an increase in the number of affordable housing units
- Economic recovery and building long-term economic resiliency will be a theme of this update, helping our community recover from COVID-19 impacts and minimize impacts from future shocks.
- Grants and financial tools can be conditional upon an up-to-date Plan and funding can be limited to projects identified in adopted plans (e.g. Local Infrastructure Financing Tool). This update will ensure grant and funding eligibility into the next decade.
- Detailed environmental impact and mitigation planning up-front in a Planned Action streamlines the permit review process and timelines and reduces the costs to individual projects.
- The Overlake incentives will be updated which will help create win/win projects that meet the community goals and developer goals in a predictable manner.
- Utilities will be planned for, located, and sized consistent with planned growth. Plans will identify where development is required to pay for or construct growth-related portion of infrastructure needs.
- Fostering a ”Smart City” will streamline data acquisition, analysis, and services, which will in turn reduce costs and improve service.