New Logo, Renewed Focus on Land Use

We’ve got a new logo, but it’s not the only change underway.
On August 1st we closed our office in Burlington, Iowa and we have moved all operations to Everett, Washington.  And with this change we’ve renewed are focus on land use advisory and advocacy, winding down existing clients’ economic development planning projects.
Our physical location will now be:
3705 Colby Avenue | Suite 1
Everett, WA 98201
425-344-1523
david(at)toyerstrategic(dot)com

Should Washington Encourage Night Hauling

Should Washington Encourage Night Hauling?

The greater Seattle metro area is experiencing a tremendous amount of economic growth, which when coupled with the state’s growth management laws (constraining developable areas) and notorious traffic congestion should lead to the question: “What if communities required new industrial and commercial construction to haul fill and like materials at night?”

The PROS:

  1. Get truck traffic off the roads at peak hours to reduce congestion and pollution from idling
  2. Shorten travel times for deliveries, which reduces construction costs and accelerates completion of site improvements

The CONS:

  1. Potential for noise impacts on residential areas if noise mitigating measures aren’t employed
  2. A greater need for regulators to monitor site construction at night

Another Example of How We Add Value to Projects

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.

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

A Bubble or some Bubbly?

A Bubble or some Bubbly?  That is a fair question going through the minds of some in Washington State right now.

Bubbly – Like Champagne is a Good Thing

The popping of the cork on a bottle of champagne followed by those fizzy bubbles are symbolic representations of celebration and success!

And Washington State’s economy appears to be raising a big glass of the bubbly these days.  In 2016 wages in Washington State rose 4.8%, accounting for the largest year over year increase since 2007.  The State’s unemployment figures for May 2017 dropped to 4.5% from 5.6% just a year ago.  And for the second year in a row, Seattle leads the country in the number of cranes (58 cranes – 60% more than any other US city) – a sign that typically points to a booming economy.  Add to this, WalletHub.com has ranked Washington’s economy #1 in the US based on an assessment of 27 economic factors.  And CNBC concurs, ranking Washington as the best state for business in the US.

Is there a Bubble?  (that ol’ Bearer of Bad News)

But despite all to celebrate in Washington’s economy, there is room to take pause.  Some data indicates some very negative trends and recent company announcements point to some small earthquakes within key industries that are drivers of the state’s economy.

For example, state data should that wage growth has primarily been limited to to King (Seattle) and Snohomish (Everett) counties, leaving the balance of the state flat or dropping.  Moreover, nearly 1/5th of Washington’s counties (7 out of 39) have unemployment rates over 7% with six more hoovering just shy of that mark.  And even in the prosperous Seattle metro, a count in late May found more than 11,000 homeless in the area – a significant number of which that are employed.  In four years, the median cost of housing in the state has jumped 37% to over $300,000 (driven by price pressures in the metro counties) – a great thing if you own a house, but bad if you don’t.

Recently announced layoffs and moves at Boeing and Microsoft – including 125 engineers tied to production of Microsoft’s surface and hundreds of Boeing’s shared services group being relocated to a Mesa, AZ facility – are just some of the more visible ‘adjustments’ happening in the market.

Conclusion

Nothing is definitive at this time, but if you’re investing and developing in the Northwest (especially Seattle), you should give caution to whether the next pop you hear is the opening of another bottle of the bubbly or the air releasing from booming growth adjusting to underlying market factors.