Tonight at 6:30 pm, in Room 207 of City Hall, the OPC will continue its discussion of the Shoreline Master Program. The agenda is here.
We left off the discussion of heights and views last time after attempting to determine which “site-lines” the commission believes are worthy of special attention in the context of general heights and views policy formulation. The staff report explains that these viewsheds are: 1.) west from Rotary Park to Mt. Rainier; 2.) From East Bay to the Capitol; and, 3.) from Olympia/Plum Streets northward to edge of the Port Peninsula in order to see the Olympics.
The commission had several options for dealing with heights and views and chose this one. The OPC will have a much broader grant of authority to deal with them under the Comprehensive Plan Update process. It will be very interesting to observe whether the approaches to views and heights now will be useful later on.
The pressure is on to complete the SMP before the current commission term ends if for no other reason than to avoid another relatively steep learning curve for new commissioners. The counterargument to rushing to the finish line is that a new city council should have a free hand in formulating community policies every step of the way. Given the work that still remains to be completed and the few slots still available for properly noticed meetings, I’m skeptical about finishing the SMP before the end of March anyway.