Highway 99 Revitalization
The development pattern along Highway 99 is a mix of post-World War II commercial strip development combined with newer shopping centers, automobile dealerships, wrecking yards and mobile home parks. Pedestrians face long blocks and sidewalks adjacent to high speed traffic, as well as poor connections to commercial uses. The corridor also runs at a bias to the City's street grid, effectively splitting Lynnwood in two. In some areas, commercial development and related impacts have intruded into the lower-density residential neighborhoods which border the corridor.
The City Council determined that long-term planning was required to support redevelopment and denser, less suburban uses where appropriate. As a first step, the Council commission a report on Highway 99 Economic Development Strategies (.pdf), prepared by the Office of Economic Development in conjunction with area businesses. The strategies sought to support and encourage the expansion of existing businesses and to focus intensive development around major intersections, or "nodes," near SWIFT Bus Rapid Transit stations. It also sought the preservation and expansion of existing automobile dealerships that play a vital role in the City's economy. The strategies were adopted and incorporated into the City's Comprehensive Plan.
The second step the City undertook was the preparation of the Highway 99 Corridor Subarea Plan, Design Guidelines, and Zoning Regulations. Under the Washington State Growth Management Act, Lynnwood and other area cities are required to plan for the growth forecasted for our region in the coming decades. In order to protect existing single-family neighborhoods, the City decided to encourage multi-family development in the nodes along Highway 99. The plan, design guidelines and zoning regulations use incentives rather than mandates to achieve this goal. The corridor extends from 148th Street SW to 216th Street SW, and includes and area north of the present City boundary but which is in the City's long-term annexation plans. Highway 99 plan development included a series of neighborhood meetings. Ultimately, the subarea plan expanded upon the strategies to provide the tools required for implementation. The plan seeks to make the corridor pedestrian friendly while reconnecting neighborhoods to and across Highway 99.
Community Transit operate the highly successful SWIFT Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service, offering express bus routes between Everett and Shoreline and connects to a similar service offered by King County METRO extending south into Seattle. Lynnwood is among the first communities in the region to recognize the value of BRT as a catalyst for new development but is by no means alone. Mukilteo, Everett, Snohomish County and several King County cities are working on similar plans.
The Highway 99 Subarea Plan, Design Guidelines and Zoning Regulations were adopted by the City Council on September 8, 2011.
All documents below are in Adobe .pdf format, get Adobe Reader online here.