Blaine planning commission meeting will discuss downtown design guidelines

Published on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Blaine planning staff will present a report to the planning commission this Thursday exploring how the city's downtown design guidelines could be altered to streamline the building design approval process.

The report will present staff-suggested changes to the downtown design guidelines that would but them more inline with the relevant section of the Blaine municipal code. The impetus for this report came from the series of four public meetings Blaine planning staff held to glean ideas from Blaine residents on how development in the downtown area could be streamlined.

The main discussion point of the meeting will be the Blaine Design Guidelines and Sign Ordinance Supplement, which is a document that sets design standards and regulations that oversee how development occurs in the downtown area and certain surrounding streets. The document sets design regulations for the downtown area, the Blaine Harbor area and for signs on certain gateway streets, such as H Street, into downtown.

Blaine planning staff point out that the supplement and the section of Blaine's municipal code that deals with downtown design review put the final design decisions in two different sets of hands. The supplement indicates the planning commission is the regulatory authority, while the municipal code says the planning director heads a regulatory team that does not include the planning commission. Planning staff say they want to narrow down how exactly final design decisions are made and codify a new process.

The planning commission will start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 22, at the city council chambers in Blaine City Hall. Click here to go to Blaine's website and read a copy of the planning staff report.


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