Letter to the Editor: Retain commercial zoning at Malcom and Argyle
Posted September 21, 2022 at 7:34 pm by San Juan Update
I recently read in the news of a proposed zoning change for the current commercial lots on the corner of Malcom and Argyle in Friday Harbor. As an adjoining property owner, I strongly oppose this zoning change for multiple reasons.
The current commercial zoning allows far more flexibility; a mixed-use development of both residential and commercial would be a better use of this development near town. Plus, mixed use allows for much needed workforce housing to be built, which is not allowed for multi-family zones but is allowed in commercial use.
Commercial zoning should be maintained on the Argyle and Malcom lot, or at the very least give the developer the option based on sound economic principles. It should also be maintained because commercial zoning allows for 51% improvements in the form of ground floor commercial suites and 49% second floor or off-street live work/space, even with a 50% reduction in allowable lot coverage to maintain the historical integrity that includes a 30-foot greenbelt setback from Argyle.
Reducing the project from 60% lot coverage allowed to 30%, there is still more than 21,000 square feet of lot coverage allowed for mixed use development.
Any plan should hold a portion in reserve for open space, parking or future development; all paving surfaces should be permeable; and all plants should be either food producing or endemic.
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