Everett planning for major population growth within next 20 years

EVERETT, Wash. — A plan to re-zone downtown Everett for an expected boom in job and population growth heads to the city council Wednesday.

The plan aims to help Everett absorb new growth from people priced out of Seattle and create a more walkable atmosphere downtown.

The Metro Everett plan says there may be as many 60,000 people moving there within 20 years.

Light rail is expected to come to the city by 2036.

The plan will allow buildings as tall as 25 stories tall in the downtown area and modify street parking rules.

Residents KIRO 7 talked to acknowledge the growth, while planners say there will be some growing pains.

“You're trying to encourage the quality of life that isn't necessarily centered around having to drive everywhere. It's about being able to create a community that's walkable and bikeable,” said Everett City Planner David Stalheim.

“It's like trying to hold back the ocean. You essentially have to bear the good and the bad that comes along with the growth,” said Everett neighbor Wayne Bledsoe.

The plan also looks to encourage urban infill -- meaning developers will take a second look where there are currently empty lots.

At least four public hearings on the Metro Everett plan will be held next month.