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File #: CM 22-010   
Type: Committee Memo Status: Referred
File created: 1/4/2022 In control: City Council
On agenda: 1/11/2022 Final action:
Title: Phase 1 of Amendments to the Redmond Zoning Code as a Periodic Rewrite of Redmond's Development Regulations - Redmond Planning Commission Recommendation
Attachments: 1. Agenda Memo, 2. Attachment A: Planning Commission Report and Recommendations, 3. Attachment B: RZC ReWrite Project Report, 4. Attachment C: RZC ReWrite Phase 1 Timeline, 5. Attachment D: RZC ReWrite Phase 2 Timeline

TO: Committee of the Whole - Planning and Public Works

FROM: Mayor Angela Birney


Planning and Community Development

Carol V. Helland




Planning and Community Development

Sarah Pyle

Manager, Economic Development and Business Operations

Planning and Community Development

David Lee

Manager, Community Development and Implementation

Planning and Community Development

Kimberly Dietz

Principal Planner

Planning and Community Development

Niomi Montes de Oca

Senior Planner

Planning and Community Development

Cameron Zapata

Senior Planner

Planning and Community Development

Andrea Kares


Planning and Community Development

Jaime Allen

Administrative Assistant





Phase 1 of Amendments to the Redmond Zoning Code as a Periodic Rewrite of Redmond’s Development Regulations - Redmond Planning Commission Recommendation




The Redmond Planning Commission’s recommendation is the first phase of a comprehensive, four-phase rewrite of the Redmond Zoning Code (RZC).  The remaining three phases are scheduled for research and development between now and 2025, continuing a focused and coordinated improvement to the zoning code. Phases of the rewrite undertaken during the pendency of the Redmond 2050 project will be coordinated with that effort.


This first phase of amendments focuses on changes to format and organization, residential use typology, accessory dwelling units, nonresidential allowed uses, definitions, code maintenance, and to Administrative Design Flexibility, Floor Area Ratio, Temporary Use Permits, nonconforming parking in the Downtown, and incentives within the Town Center zoning district.  These Phase I amendments are foundational in nature and have been addressed to ensure consistency with the City's Comprehensive Plan policies. 


This recommendation also includes minor annual amendments that address code issues and legislative updates; and amendments to the Overlake neighborhood and Marymoor Village regulations for contextual relevance and to reflect the City’s vision, goals, and priorities in preparation for subsequent neighborhood planning efforts.


  Additional Background Information/Description of Proposal Attached




  Receive Information                                            Provide Direction                                            Approve




                     Relevant Plans/Policies:

Comprehensive Plan, Community Strategic Plan, Housing Action Plan, and Long-Term Recovery Plan from COVID-19 Pandemic


o                     WAC 365-196-800 Relationship between development regulations and comprehensive plans;

o                     RZC 21.76.070.AE., Zoning Code Amendment - Text;

o                     RZC 21.76.060.Q., City Council Decisions on Type VI Reviews;

o                     Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1754:  Religious Organizations--Hosting of the Homeless;

o                     Substitute House Bill 2343:  Urban Housing Supply--Various Provisions; and

o                     Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5235:  Housing Unit Inventory-Removing Limits.


                     Council Request:


                     Other Key Facts:

The City’s development regulations were last rewritten in 2011.  That rewrite reorganized and updated the former Redmond Community Development Guide to establish the Redmond Zoning Code.  Since 2011, the City Council has approved more than 40 updates to this “living document,” including site- and topic-specific amendments covering topics such as: temporary uses; low impact development; the Marymoor Subarea Plan; and periodic clean-up series in 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019, and 2020. 


The City Council revised the 2019 Community Strategic Plan on November 24, 2021.  The Plan identifies Objectives, Strategies, and Measures to be undertaken through assigned work programs.  Several of the revised 2021 and previous 2019 Strategies apply and/or relate to the City updating and maintaining its development regulations contained in the Redmond Zoning Code including:


o                     Housing Choices (2021):  Increase overall supply of housing and provide access to more affordable homes;

o                     Housing Choices (2021):  Create healthy, walkable, and equitable transit-oriented communities. Develop strategies, programs, and projects that promote livability and cultivate “10-minute neighborhoods” (where shopping, services, amenities, schools, recreation, and transit are within a 10-minute walk of where people live);

o                     Housing Choices (2019):  Streamline Zoning Code to support increased range of housing products, increase regulatory predictability, and reduce permit review costs;

o                     Housing Choices (2019):  Evaluate and amend Zoning Code and/or standards, as appropriate, to reduce costs related to required parking and required infrastructure; and

o                     Housing Choices (2019):  Provide incentives for developers to build new affordable housing.


The City Council has also prioritized implementation of the following action plans and operating policies that are supported by the City’s development regulations and strengthened by the Planning Commission’s recommended amendments:


o                     2020 Environmental Sustainability Action Plan;

o                     Housing Action Plan;

o                     Long-Term Recovery Plan from the COVID-19 Pandemic; and

o                     Temporary Construction Dewatering Municipal Code and Operating Policy.



This recommendation provides timely, foundational improvements to the Redmond Zoning Code and prepares the City’s development regulations for significant, substantive updates resulting from subsequent phases of the rewrite, Redmond 2050 - periodic update to the Redmond Comprehensive Plan, state and federal legislative updates, and future updates to functional plans, standards, and specifications.




                     Timeline (previous or planned):

Outreach and involvement included the following to community members, property and business owners, faith-based leaders, non-profit organizations, developers, parties of interest, and Parties of Record as defined in RZC 21.76 Review Procedures and 21.78 Definitions:


o                     Q3 2020 - preliminary notification, invitation to participate, and technical testing by staff from the departments of Parks and Recreation, Planning and Community Development, and Public Works.

o                     Q4 2020 to Q1 2021 - feedback on scoping and conceptual drafts

o                     Q1 to Q2 2021 - feedback on proposed amendments and technical testing

o                     Q3 2021 - comments on final proposed amendments and SEPA determination of nonsignificance

o                     September 8 and 22, 2021 - Planning Commission’s public hearing


                     Outreach Methods and Results:

Methods included three phases of outreach to project stakeholders to seek preliminary review and feedback on draft amendments to development regulations. Staff facilitated a combination of direct email, Let’s Connect tools, the City’s website, and virtual open house events with office hours and technical testing exercises:

o                     Conceptual amendments to the code;

o                     Draft proposed amendments to the code; and

o                     Final draft proposed amendments and SEPA determination comment period


Three phases of community involvement using direct email and City e-news included:

o                     Initial awareness of the project’s scope of work;

o                     Draft proposed amendments to code; and

o                     Final draft proposed amendments, SEPA determination comment period.


Briefings to City boards and commissions sought preliminary questions and comments:

o                     Arts and Culture Commission;

o                     Design Review Board;

o                     Parks and Trails Commission; and

o                     Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee.


Staff also provided presentations to interest groups and held one hybrid (in-person and virtual) open house.


The Redmond Planning Commission held its public hearing for this amendment package on September 8 and 22, 2021.  Written testimony is included as Exhibit E to the Planning Commission Report and Recommendations (Attachment A).


The methods above allowed staff to confirm feedback from stakeholders by refining early drafts of work and seeking follow-up review.  This progressive method of proactive and frequent outreach ensured that the resulting recommendations met interests and addressed concerns expressed by stakeholders, the community, and staff.


                     Feedback Summary:

Staff received a variety of feedback points and comments during the development and review stages of this project.  The Redmond Zoning Code:  Foundation Rewrite 2020-2021, Annual Code Cleanup 2021, and Other Amendments Project Report, as recommended by the Technical Committee, provides summaries of feedback for the individual components within the scope of this project.  Refer to Attachment A Planning Commission Report, Exhibit F Technical Committee Report, Attachment A Project Report for additional information.




Total Cost:

This project is being led and facilitated by Planning and Community Development staff, with the support of Public Work, Parks and Recreation, and Communication staff.  This phase of the rewrite involves no additional costs.  Outcomes of this current work, in addition to efforts undertaken during the following project phases, support regulatory clarity. Clarity reduces the cost of doing business and ensures that the City recovers more of the cost of services provided. These amendments will also support smart growth throughout the City resulting in an expanded tax base and other revenues to aid in advancing the community’s vision. 


Approved in current biennial budget:                                            Yes                                            No                                            N/A


Budget Offer Number:

#000250 - Community/Economic Development


Budget Priority:

Vibrant and Connected

Other budget impacts or additional costs:                       Yes                                            No                                            N/A

If yes, explain:



Funding source(s):

#100 - General Fund


Budget/Funding Constraints:



  Additional budget details attached




Previous Contact(s)



Requested Action


Item has not been presented to Council



Proposed Upcoming Contact(s)



Requested Action


Committee of the Whole - Planning and Public Works

Receive Information


Business Meeting

Provide Direction


Study Session

Provide Direction


Business Meeting



Time Constraints:




The Redmond Zoning Code will lack concurrency with state regulations and Comprehensive Plan policies.  A lack of concurrency impacts customers due to a continued lack of clarity.  A delay in approval also prevents the foundation of the code being prepared for the remaining phases and citywide policy and regulatory updates such as implementing Housing Action Plan updates, Green Building, and updates to design standards.  


As this recommendation includes preparatory actions in advance of upcoming policy and regulatory amendments associated with Redmond 2050, staff recommends the City Council take action on the recommended amendments in advance of Q2 2022.



A. Planning Commission Report and Recommendations

B. Redmond Zoning Code ReWrite Project Report

C. Redmond Zoning Code ReWrite Phase 1 Timeline

D. Redmond Zoning Code ReWrite Phase 2 Timeline