Looking at this picture, what do you see?
You may see a typical suburb. Or a small town in flyover country. Both answers would be correct!
However, when we look at the picture we see:
- The commuting patterns that are impacted by zoning decisions
- The small business that is trying to get a building permit to expand
- The school board that is wrestling with rising student populations and the need to adjust enrollment boundaries
- The developer that’s facing an angry neighborhood because her project is locating where the city’s decades old comprehensive plan says it should be built
- The need for a balance between housing and jobs, as well as housing diversity and affordability
- A city that is struggling with the cost of services and the need to grow and diversify it’s economy
- The importance of primary sector jobs, as well as sales tax generating commercial/retail business
Why do we see all that?
We’re experts at understanding the importance of economic development and the complexity of land use.
That’s why we’re able to help the public and private sectors solve their challenges and capitalize on their opportunities.
A number of years ago Sinbad was in a movie called “Houseguest” and without getting into the entire story line there is this moment where Sinbad’s character is presenting pictures of bad teeth to an assembly of students, bringing about ewws and ooohhs.
This slideshow is the planning equivalent. Check it out and then check out this recent LinkedIn article by David Toyer, our founder, that addresses the flaws in planning which result in bad plans like these.
Bad Plans Slideshow
Whether you are a community, economic development organization, real estate developer or expanding business, our land use and economic development expertise can add significant value to your projects. Here’s an example of value we’re adding to a project by changing the land use and zoning.
On a 6-1 vote Wednesday night, the Auburn Planning Commission recommended the City Council approve a comprehensive plan map amendment and rezone for 1.89 acres that our firm has been pushing through the City’s annual docket cycle on behalf of a client. If approved by the City Council, the resulting zoning would increase the density of the site by as many as 29 additional housing units.
“This project is a perfect example of how our company can help land owners and developers add value to their properties and projects,” said David Toyer, founder of Toyer Strategic Consulting. “With land supply inside urban growth areas becoming more constrained, our experience changing zoning and permitted uses can add significant benefits clients looking to achieve a higher and better use.”
In another example earlier this year Toyer Strategic successfully amended the matrix of permitted uses in the City of Pacific, Washington to allow a client to move forward an industrial warehousing in an office park zone – a obvious win for the project developer, but also a key win for a city which hadn’t seen much new development in that zone.
Click to view a map of the Rhodora Annexation area.
David Toyer, founder of Toyer Strategic Consulting and a native of Lake Stevens, is leading several annexation efforts to finally unite Lake Stevens as one community around the lake.
One of these annexations, know as the Rhodora Annexation, would add approximately 108 acres to the City of Lake Stevens.
Currently, David is working to gathering signatures to complete this annexation’s 60% petition – the requirement that petitions for annexation are signed by owners of property representing not less than 60% of the value within the area proposed for annexation.
Learn more about The Rhodora Annexation Project
Toyer Strategic has filed a land use code amendment in the City of Lake Stevens, seeking adoption of a model homes ordinance similar to those used in other Snohomish County jurisdictions.
Model homes ordinances have been used by jurisdictions to replace the act of granting temporary use permits, establishing clear standards precedent to builders being eligible to seek building permits for the construction of model homes prior to final plat approval.
“We believe strongly that adoption of a model homes ordinance will clarify the requirements and process for approval of model homes in Lake Stevens, which is a benefit to the city, builders and citizens trying to understand local land use processes,” said David Toyer, owner of Toyer Strategic Consulting.
Filing the proposed code amendment under LSMC 14.16C.075 was just the first step in a lengthy review process. Staff must forward the proposal to the City Council who will determine whether or not the amendment should be further considered by staff and the Planning Commission.