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Arlington considers forming Regional Fire Authority


Arlington City Council was scheduled to vote this Monday on forming a planning committee with the City of Marysville to discuss the idea of a regional fire authority (RFA).

Because the two cities share a contiguous border in the Smokey Point area, they have long cooperated in providing fire and emergency medical services in that area.

State law requires that voters must approve such a special purpose district and this planning committee would be the first step in creating a draft plan that could be submitted to voters.

The city of Arlington has been selected as a pilot project for streamlining the permitting process for manufacturing companies, in a partnership with the Department of Commerce.

The city’s contribution as a test case will require personnel time and expertise, which will count as its “in-kind” match for the program. It is intended to reduce time and frustration for companies as they try and comply with multiple regulatory requirements and agencies during the permitting process.

A proposed “roadmap” is expected to reduce “red-tape” by improving access to regulatory information and enhancing coordination between regulatory agencies.

After discussion a few weeks ago on changing regulations on self-storage facilities, council was asked this week to approve amendments that would allow self-storage unit facilities in its mixed-used, high density developments. Currently storage units are allowed general and light industrial zones.

Staff and the Planning Commission have identified a need to differentiate between typical self-storage facilities and a “more modern” model that could be incorporated into the currently popular mixed-use style of development for high-density residential combined with commercial, Chris Young, the director of community and economic development, explained recently.

Young said that changes in urban households have led to a different market for residential storage resulting in a building form that is very different from the earlier style of the “mini-warehouse” self-storage facilities. The new model includes multi-story buildings with a single storefront entry and an exterior appearance that resembles a professional office building.

With the new architectural style, the facilities can be compatible with commercial areas making the facilities more convenient.

The Puget Sound Regional Council identified a lack of policies addressing this option in the cities current comprehensive plan, Young told council.

City Council was also expected to vote this week on creating a youth council as part of the Arlington-Darrington Community Revitalization Plan for the America’s Best Communities contest. The youth council would advise the city in matters affecting youth in the Stillaguamish Valley and share youth perspectives on a range of community issues to create an essential link among Arlington’s teens, the community and city government.

If approved, the city will provide staff support for the youth council, which is funded with a $10,000 budget from America’s Best Communities. Long term budget support will be provided by the city of Arlington. Darrington will set up its own youth council, according to council documents.

This Monday, a new deputy chief of police, Dan Cone, was to be sworn in to his new position, along with Rory Bolter, sergeant.


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