There is a plan to allow developers to build taller structures in downtown Everett to accommodate an anticipated influx of residents and workers over the next two decades.
The development recommendations for zoning would allow buildings 15 floors or higher along Hewitt Avenue in Everett’s downtown core. Zoning changes on surrounding streets would allow structures between four and 11 stories.
The City of Everett thinks an estimated 60,000 new residents might move to the area over the next two decades, and many of them are expected to use the city's downtown core, especially once light rail reaches the region in 2036.
The city is also considering a proposal to loosen parking requirements. Developers would no longer have to provide off-street parking on certain blocks for non-residential projects near the light rail line.
“Ambitious, I guess, is the word,” said Anthony Vicari, who has lived in Everett since 2004.
“I think it’s the start of a dialogue, but right now I’m not going to say I’m in support of something like this,” he said.
“It’s what the place needs,” said another person, who looked at the recommendations. “For a long time it’s just been a kind of a place where a lot of buildings were neglected, young people wanted to move away, but people are starting to move back into Everett, and it's gaining some momentum.”
The city says it hopes to continue working on the zoning recommendation through the summer, potentially finalizing them toward the end of the year, and then sending it all to the city council.
More info on the recommendations here.