A week ago, the situation did not look good for Mike Raskin. On Dec. 6, the Woodinville City Council balked at changing zoning rules to accommodate a proposal by Raskin's company...
A week ago, the situation did not look good for Mike Raskin.
On Dec. 6, the Woodinville City Council balked at changing zoning rules to accommodate a proposal by Raskin’s company, MJR Development, for a European-style “wine village” in the town’s Tourist District. A year’s worth of preparation seemed likely to be for naught.
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But last night, in a somewhat surprising change of heart, the five council members present voted unanimously in favor of the zoning change.
“I’m elated,” Raskin said afterward.
During an hour of public comment, 21 people spoke for the change. No one opposed it.
“I don’t think we can stop development, but tonight we have an historic opportunity to guide it,” said Tom McKinnon, who runs a high-end culinary store in Woodinville.
City staff members made significant revisions to the zoning amendment last week after the council expressed concern that it would not give the city sufficient control over future development in the Tourist District.
“The council wanted to be sure it got what was promised,” said City Manager Pete Rose.
The council enacted a ban on residential development in the district in 2002 to block a proposed apartment complex.
The ordinance the council passed last night requires a “developer agreement” between the city and any developer who wants to build on the site.
That “gives us more of a hand” in the development process, said Mayor Don Brocha.
As proposed, Woodinville Village would occupy 18 acres now used for horse barns and pastures near the busy crossroads of Highway 202 and Northeast 145th Street, just across the Sammamish River from Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia wineries.
Residential development will be limited to 25 percent of the project’s total floor space, up to a maximum of 12 residential units per acre. Residences are prohibited on the ground floor of any development. Offices can occupy 20 percent of ground-floor space and 40 percent of upper stories. The balance of the floor space is to be occupied by restaurants, wine-tasting rooms and approved retail stores.
Raskin said he plans to bring a full proposal for the project to the city next month.
“I hope to be under construction by next summer,” he said, as he and his partners left City Hall to celebrate.
Jim Downing: 206-515-5627 or email@example.com