The City completed Sustaining a Livable Lake Forest Park: The Future of our Town Center, which recommends “a paradigm shift at Town Center, from shopping center to a mixed-use center with housing, as well as retail, commercial, and public spaces.”
The City adopted design guidelines and regulations to implement the 2004 plan’s vision. The City was in discussion with the owners of the shopping center about redeveloping it into a mixed-use center when the economic downturn hit and the project was no longer economically feasible.
The Lyon Creek Project, a $6.9 million endeavor replaced undersized culverts, restored a half-mile of stream bed, rebuilt a park, and added a new park, resolving flooding issues and showcasing the potential of waterways as features of the Central Subarea.
The Healthy Creeks Project, a salmon runs recovery study and preliminary design project, will add another 1.5 miles of barrier-free passage through the Subarea.
The City will complete a surface street mobility study with the intent of identifying multi-model ways to access the SR 522 transportation corridor and kick off a SR 104 and SR 522 corridor study to identify projects that meet today’s and long-term challenges.
As part of the $54 billion Sound Transit 3 (ST3) package, Sound Transit will plan and build a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Lake Forest Park, better connecting the City to the region. It will include a stop at Town Center, 25 blocks of sidewalks along SR 522 to access bus stops, and a 300-vehicle parking garage.
Why plan now?
We’re in exciting times ripe with opportunity! Link Light Rail comes to Shoreline in 2023 and BRT to Town Center in 2024, meaning that Lake Forest Park’s input on design needs to be in place by 2018. Recent Lyon Creek enhancements highlight the potential for natural and public features, consistent with the values of our community. The region’s population is dramatically growing, creating a different development climate than a decade ago. With this comes a significant change in our demographics and the demand for a range of housing and transportation for our community. Our Central Subarea needs an updated, relevant, and future-proof vision to keep pace with these changes and set the course for a transit and people-oriented town center ready for the next 50 years.
Phase 1: Design Framework Plan
September – December 2017
During 2017, we will focus on compiling and reflecting community priorities and evaluating options for the Town Center site and Central Subarea. This Phase will include three public events, an online survey, multiple Interbranch Steering Committee meetings, coordination with Sound Transit and Merlone Geier, Planning Commission and City Council briefings, and meetings or online engagement targeted to specific interests or user groups (see Get Involved). The following tasks are included in Phase 1:
- Vision and objectives: With a broad and diverse spectrum of community members, we will discuss our town center’s role as a central mobility and community hub over the next 50 years. Some topics will include living options, community facility needs, connectivity demands, experience retail, gathering places, and natural features.
- Market feasibility and development economics analysis: This analysis will ground the plan in realistic assumptions and show how different land use regulations would affect development.
- Infrastructure investment review and coordination: We will evaluate options for the ST3 park-and-ride garage location, site circulation, and a park.
- Design framework plan and findings report: We will develop a design framework plan for the primary study area (the Town Center property) and findings regarding surrounding areas.
Phase 2: Central Subarea Plan, development regulations, and design guidelines
January 2018 – January 2019
Phase 2 offers the opportunity to share Phase 1 results, including the design framework plan and findings report, with Sound Transit and Merlone Geier. Also in this phase, the options will be analyzed more fully through environmental review. These efforts and subsequent refinements will lead to a full Central Subarea Plan and associated development regulations and design guidelines. The following tasks will be completed during Phase 2:
- Central Subarea Plan: This will present a 50-year vision with interim steps and identify desired land uses, development patterns, building height and bulk limits, design character, parks, natural areas, primary circulation routes, impact mitigation as needed for neighboring properties, and public and civic facilities. It will also outline implementation measures and ways to work with Sound Transit and property owners.
- Environmental (SEPA) review: A programmatic environmental review will assess impacts of proposed development and transportation infrastructure alternatives and recommends mitigation measures. Mitigation measures will be included in the Central Subarea Plan.
- Development regulations and design guidelines: Adopting the preferred regulations and guidelines will be the City’s first and most important step to implementing the Central Subarea Plan.
You! See Get Involved for information on how to get involved.
The City leaders have developed an advisory group, called the Interbranch Steering Committee, comprised of representatives from the City Council and the administration, to help guide the project throughout the process. The City will coordinate closely with Sound Transit and Merlone Geier (Town Center property owner) to ensure feasibility of the final plan.
Lake Forest Park Comprehensive Plan
Lake Forest Park City Council adopted the 2015 Comprehensive Plan Update on January 14, 2016.
Sustaining Livable LFP Town Center
In issuing the recommendations in this report, the Task Force has met its charge to articulate a compelling community vision and an implementable set of policy recommendations. These recommendations are rooted in an understanding that the City has an opportunity to act on what is in the City’s control by deﬁ ning the community’s needs and preferences for the future of the Town Center, and by removing regulatory barriers to effective redevelopment at the site.
Legacy 100-Year Vision
In 2008, the City of Lake Forest Park developed a visionary plan to guide growth and preservation efforts of our unique community resources for the next 100 years.
2005 Town Center Framework Design Guidelines
The purpose of these documents is to help clarify the baseline community expectations and market capabilities for this site, better aligning community and developer expectations so the community can move more quickly to realizing a new Town Center.