BOTHELL REPORTER NEWSPAPER 3.19.2008
Bothell is going "green" with adopted ordinance
By JOSHUA ADAM HICKS
The Bothell City Council adopted an ordinance March 4 that
establishes new low-impact development (LID) standards for a
portion of the Fitzgerald neighborhood, located in northeast
The measures are designed to protect critical habitats near
North Creek and its tributaries, but they also leave
questions about how practical developing the area will be in
"This is a good trend in that everyoneís going 'green',
said Councilmember Bill Evans. "Now itís a matter of how it
affects development costs."
The new regulations require between 50- and 60-percent
forest cover for all future developments within the North
Creek Fish and Wildlife Critical Habitat Protection Area
(NCFWCHPA). They also limit impervious surfaces such as
concrete and asphalt to between 15 and 20 percent of an
City Council rejected a proposal for stricter regulations in
"Council became concerned about what those standards would
do," said Bothell community development planner Bruce
Blackburn. "They didnít want to create standards that were
so stringent that nobody had uses for their land."
Numerous properties in the Fitzgerald neighborhood will be
primed for denser development once an arterial road known as
the Bothell Connector is completed. That corridor will lead
from Everett to Woodinville via 39th Avenue Southeast in
Evans said he believes developers will do best by assembling
large portions of property, which would give them the
flexibility to meet the new requirements through
transference and credits.
"Hopefully the area can be marketed that way," Evans said.
"The idea is to protect natural habitats, and I certainly
think the regulations do that. The real test is going to be
when the first proposal to develop property occurs."
Developers who donít meet the new requirements in one area
can acquire credits by preserving comparable portions of
land within the NCFWCHPA, and also by using LID methods that
reduce surface- water runoff.
LID techniques include the use of vegetative roofs, porous
concrete, rain gardens and other practices that keep
stormwater from rushing off into local waterways.
Reducing runoff protects streams from erosion, pollution and
infusions of warm water ó all of which are lethal to fish
Recent scientific studies indicate that North Creek and its
tributaries provide an unusually healthy habitat for salmon.
The NCFWCHPA is a particularly productive area that is, to
date, largely undisturbed.
City Council decided in 2006 to keep it that way by creating
its new low-impact development regulations. The process took
17 months and nine public hearings.
The city could implement similar low-impact development
regulations in other parts of Bothell depending on how
things go with the Fitzgerald neighborhood.
"Itís all new stuff right now," Blackburn said. "Itís
exciting stuff with some science behind it, but itís still