Blaine city officials will hold another public hearing on a rezone slated for the area just east of the truck route, between 14th and D streets.
Blaine planning staff recommended the additional public hearing so Blaine residents could have more input on the proposed rezone. Blaine City Council voted 6-0, with council member Dennis Olason recusing himself, to schedule the public hearing for a later meeting date.
Blaine community planner Alex Wenger said an additional public hearing was recommended after a handful of residents of the affected area expressed concern their voices had not been heard during the planning process for the rezone. Wenger estimated the public hearing would be scheduled approximately one month from the January 23 city council meeting. An official published announcement will precede the meeting date.
“I don’t think we can have enough public meetings,” Blaine mayor Harry Robinson said.
The land in question is currently zoned for light manufacturing or commercial use, but Blaine planning staff say this designation no longer makes sense given the inability to access the land via the truck route. Planning staff are recommending the land’s zoning be changed to reflect the area’s primarily residential surroundings and a different commercial zoning designation be added closer to the truck route.
Planning staff are recommending four specific changes to the area’s zoning:
• The area between D Street, the C Street right-of-way, 14th Street and 15th Street should be rezoned to medium residential density from zoning that allows both residential and commercial uses.
• The area between the C Street right-of-way, B Street, 14th Street and 15th Street should be rezoned from low residential density to medium residential density.
• The area on the north side of the 1500 block of H Street to Lincoln Park where the General Services Administration facility is should be rezoned from medium residential density to public use.
• The area adjacent to 14th Street and E Street should be rezoned from light manufacturing and commercial zoning to zoning that allows for a number of commercial uses, such as hotels and restaurants, but not manufacturing.
In addition to the zoning changes, planning staff are proposing changes to the area’s comprehensive plan that will keep 14th Street, which runs north/south, from connecting to H Street for the foreseeable future. Wenger said residents in the area have expressed concern that 14th Street would become too congested if it connected to H Street.
For more information on the proposed rezone, contact Wenger at 360/332-8311 ext. 3330 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Above, left: Harry Robinson, Blaine’s newly elected mayor, speaks at the January 23 Blaine City Council meeting. City council members elected Robinson as the mayor at the January 9 meeting. Robinson will serve a two-year term. Photo by Jeremy Schwartz.