Residents oppose zoning change in Burlington

December 15, 2018

BURLINGTON — A decision on a proposed zoning change was postponed two weeks after the Burlington City Council heard Thursday from residents opposed to the change.

About 50 residents of a neighborhood bordering the area subject to the zoning change raised concerns about increased traffic and noise, road accessibility, future land use and poor communication from the Burlington Planning Department.

At the request of the property owner, the Planning Department seeks to rezone 10 parcels that lie west of Interstate 5 along Goldenrod Road and east of the Markwood Road neighborhood to allow for heavy commercial use.

The land is now zoned general commercial, a designation that allows for low-intensity commercial activities.

Rezoning to heavy commercial would allow Apache Camping Center to open in the rezoned area, which the company wants to do.

Apache Camping Center sells travel trailers and campers in Portland, Tacoma, Everett and Poulsbo.

On Thursday, company president Kevin Baker said an expansion to Burlington would bring the city 30 good-paying jobs and additional tax revenue.

“We would do our very best to be a good neighbor,” he said.

Property owner Miles Schlosberg of I-5 Burlington LLC said Apache Camping Center would be an ideal occupant for the site due to its minimal noise and intensity.

Many of the residents at Thursday’s meeting said they only became aware of the potential rezoning in November when the Planning Department mailed a notice.

Resident Steve Crider submitted a petition with 55 signatures from those who oppose the rezoning. He spoke passionately about how the Planning Department went wrong.

“If better process had been followed, we might be having a better conversation,” he said.

Crider said he received a letter from the Planning Department on Nov. 12 of a Planning Commission meeting Nov. 21 — the day before Thanksgiving. The letter was postmarked Nov. 9.

According to Crider and others, the notice did not reach all who would be impacted by the rezoning.

Senior Planner Brad Johnson said the notice was mailed to everyone within a 600-foot radius of the area to be rezoned.

A rezoning of the land has been in the works for over a year.

After hearing from the residents, the City Council decided to hold off on a vote until its next meeting on Dec. 27.

Council members James Stavig, Chris Loving and Edie Edmundson all spoke in favor of the vote being postponed.

“I’d like to see the neighborhood — drive through it,” Stavig said. “We should do our homework before we make decisions.”

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