Rhodora Annexation Clears State Board

Lake Stevens, Washington.  The Washington State Boundary Review Board (BRB) for Snohomish County issued its written decision Tuesday, denying an appeal brought by landowners in the area.  The decision clears the way for approval of the Rhodora Annexation by the Lake Stevens City Council subject to expiration of the 30 day appeal period on BRB decisions.

Our firm has managed the annexation process for the initiating landowners (initiators), including circulation of the 10% and 60% annexation petitions, developing and distributing information about the annexation to residents, and representing initiators in the annexation proceedings.

If final approval is granted by the Lake Stevens City Council, the annexation would bring approximately 103 acres into the City at the southeast end of the lake.  More information

Pacific Passes Economic Development Friendly Amendments

Last night, the City Council in Pacific, Washington unanimously approved a package of code amendments that will encourage future economic development projects in their city.

Toyer Strategic Consulting proposed the package of code amendments, which addressed changes to the Office Park, Industrial and Commercial zoning districts.  Examples of the code amendments include:

  • Allowing additional uses in the Office Park zoning district
  • Permitting additional building height in the Office Park zoning district commensurate with additional building setbacks
  • Modifying the size of parking stalls and reducing off-street parking requirements.

In development the code amendments, Toyer Strategic worked with industrial developers, architects, engineers and city staff to identify areas of the code where changes would encourage future development opportunities.  Additionally, Toyer Strategic researched and evaluated similar code requirements in 19 other communities with like zoning districts and/or populations in order to ensure the changes make the City more competitive than peers at attracting projects.

The amendments were initiated in November 2017 and, based on last night’s action, they will become effective on April 3, 2018.

Additional Factors in Project Feasibility

Companies, especially those in real estate development, have developed comprehensive due diligence/feasibility processes to determine if a project is a go or no-go.

But even the best due diligence/feasibility processes we’ve seen lack an understanding of the ‘political’ elements impacting a project, which often results in one of two scenarios:

1. The company passes on a project in response to a perceived regulatory roadblock, which if investigated further might be easily navigated, or

2. The company proceeds with a project only to run into an ‘unexpected’ political change that threatens the entitlements they seek (e.g. moratoriums, more stringent regulations, emergency ordinances, etc.).

We’ve got solutions and here’s how we help:

  • Political & Regulatory Risk Assessments – We specialize in understanding local and state regulatory systems and we excel at researching local regulatory trends, past project results, changing political winds (example: is the no-growth neighborhood group running candidates to flip the local council/board?).  We can help your company assess the political and regulatory risks prior to your investment.
  • Reverse Engineering of Regulatory Roadblocks – Have you ever passed on a project because you ran into a single regulatory limitation that didn’t fit the project (e.g. allowed % of lot coverage was too low for your home designs)? We help companies assess regulatory roadblocks and design strategies that can change the red flag your seeing into a green light.
  • Maximizing the Project’s Value – What if you could get a little more density?  Shorten your approval by a few weeks?  Or reduce some of your project’s conditions?  We can help with that.  We understand the politics of negotiation, as well as the opportunities to speed up local regulatory processes, and we can assist you in maximizing your next project’s value.
  • Proactive Project Mine-Clearing – Developing relationships, seeking code interpretations, securing code amendments – are all efforts we can manage on your behalf prior to your next project moving forward.
  • Community Outreach – There’s nothing worse than thinking everything is going great only to go to hearing and have dozens of neighbors show up in opposition.  We are experienced at communicating with neighborhoods and adjacent landowners, and we can help your company manage long-term project risk by utilizing the opportunity to address concerns early in the process.

Want to learn more about how we can help your projects?  Contact us.

Client Win: Marysville WA Approves Code Changes

A Win for Our Clients!

Last night the City of Marysville, WA unanimously adopted (7-0 vote) Ordinance 3057, increasing the maximum impervious surface to 65% and allowing building heights up to 35 feet on lots with a 10% or greater slope.  Request a copy of the ordinance.

How did this change happen?  

Toyer Strategic Consulting was retained by a Marysville landowner/developer that was hamstrung by the City’s impervious surface requirements.  The client requested we find a way to solve their problem.  After a brief assessment, our solution was to propose a code change and request the change also allow vested projects to use the minor modification process to gain approval to utilize the new and improved standards.

Our efforts opened the door for the Master Builders Association to propose several additional code amendments favorable to our client and other builders/developers.

How long did it take to get the change? 

58 business days.  The process was initiated on February 15th and required two planning commission work sessions and public hearing, as well as both a city council work session and regular business meeting.

This was a significant victory for our client and the industry due to the impact of the changes and the speed at which we were able move everything forward.

Need a solution for your project?  Contact Us!

Is it Time to Draw a Line in the Sand?

Have you recently said or thought any of the following?  Enough!  Now what?  Don’t they get it?  Why can’t this be simple?  Is there no common sense?

You’re not alone.  Many businesses, communities and organizations are saying the same thing and saying it often.  But the one question not often asked is “how do I/we change it?”

Sonya Parker wrote, “I will no longer accept apologies from you.  I will only accept action.”

If you’re ready to explore the ‘how’ then your ready for our help.

We work with a wide range of clients from the real estate developer that needs to push forward stalled permits to a community that is ready to move beyond planning its vision to building its future to the organization that needs to set higher value goals to invigorate a declining and divesting membership.

Toyer Strategic Consulting understands the strategies and implementation necessary to push permits without being pushy, transform planning into project management and switch gears from goal setting to goals scored.  We are a company that focuses on action.

Are you ready to draw a line in the sand?