Update on Edmonds
Newsletter for Spring 2015
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Happy Spring and Improved Economy,

Yes, happy spring, but the question may be... did winter ever happen? As best I can recall, we had four or five days when temperatures approached freezing during the three months we usually expect a little ice. And the kids want to know why snow didn't get them a couple of extra days off? 

As of this writing, flowers all around town are coming into bloom and the city staff is beginning work in our downtown corner gardens. Can the flower baskets be far behind?

Spring is a time of "awakening" not only in our gardens, but also in our local economy which continues to grow and expand. The "Great Recession" that started in 2008, provided some lean years until the economic turnaround started in 2013. Now I am amazed at the very busy business neighborhoods in our community. Whether it is Highway 99, Westgate, the Waterfront or the downtown core, there is a vibrancy which exceeds where we were even two years ago. And, of course, the increase in business means more sales tax which helps our city remain financially strong.

I hope you all take time to enjoy spring... with summer, and our many festivals and celebrations just around the corner, it will pass quickly. Also, please watch for news and information about how you can participate in Edmonds upcoming 125th Anniversary celebration on August 11th. We may even have a delegation from Hekinan Japan, our Sister City, here to help us celebrate!


Mayor Dave Earling

tree2 croppedA public hearing on a draft tree code recommended by the city’s Citizens Tree Board will be held May 27, 2015 before the Planning Board. The draft tree code would significantly change the way the City permits tree removal. The draft tree code is available at this link. Citizens can provide input on the draft tree code by providing public testimony at the hearing, submitting written comments to the Planning Division, or via email.  

The new draft code would require a permit for removal of any tree not associated with a development proposal, eliminating most existing exceptions. It would provide a tiered permitting system depending on the category of tree and number of trees proposed for removal. Because the new permitting system would be more comprehensive than the current one, it is anticipated that additional staffing would be needed for administering the program, including more staff needed for permitting and enforcement. Additionally, the application requirements will add costs for property owners.

A major change underlying the new draft tree code is establishing a minimum tree density requirement for single-family property depending on the zone the property is in. The intent of the density requirement is to maintain or expand tree coverage within the City of Edmonds. 

Tree cutting in the City of Edmonds is currently regulated by a number of different code provisions, including ECDC 18.45 Land Clearing and Tree Cutting, the Right-of-way Tree Removal or Trimming Policy adopted November 18, 2014, and the City's Critical Area regulations in ECDC 23.40 - 23.90. Various other city regulations, such as commercial and multifamily landscaping requirements, also have some aspect that applies to regulating trees within the City. The existing tree regulations are fragmented, difficult for citizens to understand, often conflicting, and cumbersome for staff to implement. A primary intent of the tree code update is to develop a more comprehensive tree code with a clear vision, one which is easier for citizens to understand and more clear for staff to implement.

The Planning Board’s public hearing on the Tree Board recommended draft tree code will be at 7 p.m. on May 27, 2015 in the Council Chambers located at 250 – 5th Avenue North.  

escc hekinanThe Edmonds Sister City Commission 2015 student exchange is taking shape. In February, the Commission interviewed five chaperone candidates for this year's student trip to Hekinan, Japan. Candidate Robert Allen, a teacher from Madrona School, was chosen to lead this year's delegation. Currently, there are eight students from the Edmonds area who will be traveling as Edmonds' ambassadors to Hekinan, Japan this summer. The student application process is still open until Friday, May 1, and if more students apply and are accepted to the program, ESCC Commissioner Karyn Heinekin will be joining the group as a 2nd chaperone.

The student exchange program is part of the Edmonds Sister City Commission's relationship with Hekinan Japan. Every summer a delegation of students from Edmonds goes to Hekinan for a two week stay and then a delegation of students from Hekinan comes to Edmonds for a two week stay. Students stay with host families, provide a portion of their chaperone's travel costs as well as covering their own travel costs and spending money. Chaperones also stay with host families. These host family stays provide students and chaperones with a very rich cultural experience.

red onion burger croppedTo help raise funds to support the exchange program, the Sister City Commission will host a fundraiser at the Red Onion Burgers in Mountlake Terrace on Tuesday, May 5th from 5 - 8 pm. During that time delegates and ESCC Commissioners will help with washing dishes, pouring beverages, making milkshakes, busing tables and seating guests. In return, the delegation will receive 20% of sales, 100% of cash tips and 50% of the credit card tips. We encourage everyone to come meet our Edmonds' delegates and Sister City Commissioners and support this great program. The Red Onion Burgers is located at 21005 44th Ave. W, Suite 101 in Mountlake Terrace.

During the next three months the delegation will meet four more times in preparation for their visit to Hekinan... at the same time, Hekinan students will also be meeting to prepare for their visit to Edmonds. You can follow these preparations on the Commission's Facebook page!

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