Hollywood Hill Association

Tourist District Rezone Proposal


The following is a letter from the President of the Hollywood Hill Association:

Greetings.

As many of you have heard, there are proposals for significant changes in the zoning that governs what may be developed in Woodinville's "Tourist District" at the bottom of Hollywood Hill. While the details of what is being proposed can seem complex, it is a simple matter to understand that, regardless of what is allowed to be developed, the results will have a profound impact of the the character of our community and the general quality of life around Hollywood Hill for decades to come.

First, to clear up some confusion:

There are two proposals regarding the Tourist District. One involves expanding the Tourist District Overlay boundary northward on the west side of the Sammamish Valley, into the industrial district north of Columbia Winery. The Hollywood Hill Association (HHA) is not directly concerned with this issue.

The other proposal, which is the focus of the HHA's attention, is for significant changes to the zoning codes in the Tourist District itself, which basically includes the businesses abutting the Hollywood Schoolhouse/Tully's intersection, the MJR properties behind Hollywood Vineyards Shopping Center( Tully's, etc), Apple Farm Village and extends to include the Willows Lodge, Redhook, Ste. Michelle and Columbia winery properties. This zoning change proposal does not involve moving any boundaries.

The proposed Tourist District zoning changes are being brought before the Woodinville City Council By MJR Development, which owns the properties behind Tully's that have been cleared and graded. MJR also owns the remodeled apartments along the Sammamish River. While the proposed zoning changes are being proffered with development of MJR's properties in mind, they will apply to the entire Tourist Business District.

Some history: MJR first requested zoning changes for the Woodinville Winery Village around 2003. After extensive consideration of the pros and cons, the City granted MJR's requests. The Hollywood Hill Association conditionally supported those changes. A copy of our letter submitted to the public record may be viewed here.

A sampling of the newly proposed changes includes: increasing allowed building heights (from 39 to 60 feet with the possibility of eventually going higher), increasing residential/apartment densities, allowing motor vehicle sales, allowing bulk retail stores and allowing expanded business office uses. Also included is a request to allow for 10 year extensions of the development agreement if "there are economic or similar constraints beyond the control of the developer. Automatic extensions for an additional 10 years... when there have been reasonable efforts to move ahead with expansion."

A pdf file outlining the proposed changes is available here.

From what we know of this proposal, the HHA is likely to be opposed to most, if not all, of the requested changes.

There will be an informational "town hall" meeting on Wednesday, August 26 at 7 pm at the Sammamish Valley Grange Hall. The Hall is located on the Woodinville-Redmond Road (148th Ave NE) just 3 buildings north of the Hollywood Schoolhouse. This meeting will give you an opportunity to learn just what is being proposed and where the changes would apply. There will be Woodinville City staff on hand, but no policy makers. In other words, this is not a forum for citizens to express their opinions on the proposals, but rather to learn what is going on so that we can make informed comments as the process moves forward.

The first Public Hearing is scheduled for September 16th at the Woodinville City Hall with the City Planning Commission. This will be your/our first opportunity to share your thoughts directly with policy makers on this proposal. While it is likely to be December before the City Council will take a final vote on this, it is important for us to be proactive as the process unfolds, and commenting at the Planning Commission meeting will be an important step in that regard.

Thanks for your attention to this important community issue.

Michael Tanksley
President
Hollywood Hill Association