Lynnwood mayor discusses Comprehensive Plan after city has ‘weathered the storm’

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The City of Lynnwood is in the midst of a new Comprehensive Plan, with projects planned over the next 20 years to reinvigorate the city.

Lynnwood officially kicked off community planning efforts in May through its Big Ideas Month. The Comprehensive Plan update, planned through 2024, is being coordinated with the City Center + Alderwood Plan.

“Not surprisingly, the city needed to use about $1.1 million in reserves at the end of 2020. But using these reserves, the city was able to avoid severe cuts, which would have resulted in reduced services and would have added further injury to our local economy,” Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell said during her State of the City Address. “Because we tightened our belts, and because some revenues have remained strong, the city was able to replenish its financial reserves. In short, Lynnwood’s finances have weathered this storm. The city council and I share a commitment to financial prudence and cautious optimism.”

Frizzell served as a Lynnwood City council member for four years prior to being elected as mayor in November of 2021. As a council member, Christine was the liaison to various boards and commissions, including serving as an interim Commissioner of South County Fire after the consolidation of the Lynnwood Fire Department and Fire District 1.

“What once was displayed on paper is quickly materializing, and it’s quite exciting,” Frizzell said. “Our community vision, our strategic plan, numerous city plans and surveys, and ongoing community input will continue to support, inform, and guide Lynnwood’s transformation for the coming years. Major development is bustling through Lynnwood.

“Our skyline is filled with construction cranes. New development is springing up throughout the city with most work intentionally concentrated in our City Center and Alderwood Mall area,” she continued. “Construction is also continuing at a rapid pace at the Lynnwood City Center Station, the future home of the Lynnwood Link light rail extension. Sound Transit is a crucial piece of our city center plan.”

Included in the expansive project is Community Transit’s swift orange line, set to begin service in 2024 to coincide with the start of the light rail service. The swift orange line will be an 11-mile bus rapid transit route that will connect with the Sound Transit Link light rail when it arrives in Lynnwood.

“Even throughout the epidemic, we saw private development continuing to progress. Since 2015, Lynnwood has seen over $1 billion in private investment,” Frizzell said. “That investment leads to increased sales tax revenue, impact fees, which, in turn, help fund road improvements, park improvements, utility improvements, and overall add to the offerings of Lynnwood.”

Under the state’s Growth Management Act, Lynnwood plans to accommodate over 18,000 new residents in approximately 6,500 units over the next 13 years.

“When we ask our community what Lynnwood needs to improve, the overwhelming response is our roads. Paired with growth and development, we have major infrastructure projects that allow our city to upgrade our transportation network and build capacity,” Frizzell said. “However, even though we’ve got many major projects happening in our city center and around Alderwood Mall, that doesn’t mean we’ve diverted our focus away from our neighborhood streets. Our public works crews are busy keeping up maintenance of our more than 300 lane miles of roads.”

Lynnwood recently received $12 million from Washington state’s capital budget for the construction of the Community Recovery Center alongside an additional $10 million towards the construction of the popular Wave Bridge. A final $1 million was needed to finish Phase Two of the Scriber Creek Trail Redevelopment Project.

Prior to taking office as the mayor, Frizzell worked as an accountant for a variety of large businesses and went on to be self-employed for more than 30 years serving accounting and tax needs of medium and small businesses and individuals.

“These past two years, we have been so focused on our response to the pandemic. But now is the time to focus our attention on recovery and resiliency,” Frizzell said. “First, I began with the need for safety. For many years, Lynnwood has been committed to being a safe and welcoming committee, and this remains our top priority. Each and every city department, every single employee plays a key role in making these goals a reality.”

Frizzell also stated Lynnwood Police Department’s efforts to diversify its workforce “has done an extraordinary job.” The department has hired 19 new employees, six have been female, and eight of the new hires identify as a person of color.

This story was originally published on MyNorthwest.