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UPDATE: City Council Approves New Zoning Code

Light rail use falls under the new zoning, which is the first major overhaul of the development code since 1978.

The Redmond City Council has adopted a zoning code rewrite that culminates more than a year of work by city staff and a resident advisory group.

The new code was approved at Tuesday's city council meeting. It goes into effect on April 16.

Residents and developers can download a copy of the code online, or purchase a CD for $7 from the Development Services Center.

Councilwoman Kimberly Allen, who helped lead the code rewrite, said the effort was designed to make the document more concise and easier to understand. She said the previous zoning document, called the Community Development Guide, was added on to and expanded over the years, making it inconsistent in some places.

Allen said the regulations themselves will mostly stay the same, with some minor adjustments.

“It was the council’s desire not to make a whole lot of substantive changes,” she said. “What we wanted to do was make the process of developing in Redmond simpler and to make it easier for citizens to know what’s going on."

One change that does fall under the new code is the in low- to moderate-density residential zones. Council President Richard Cole had initially voiced some hesitation toward the revision, but he said Monday that his concerns had been addressed by Sound Transit, which contacted residents who would be affected by the rail line.

Tom Hinman, a city planning commissioner who lives in The Meadows near the proposed light rail line, said he has not heard any concern from his neighbors or his homeowners' association. Light rail service from the Overlake area into downtown Redmond is not yet funded and construction is still several years away.

But when the line arrives, Hinman said he believes it will be an asset to the neighborhood.

“I think that when we get light rail to Redmond, it will greatly improve our transit access to the region,” he said.

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