May 30, 2024 6:06 am

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Lynnwood Council approves $6.4 million tax exemption for new 318-unit mixed-use development

LYNNWOOD—The council unanimously approved the mayor to enter into an eight-year $6.4 million Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) for ACG Acquisitions, LLC, the developer of the new 318-unit mixed-use housing development, ENSO.

mixed-use development
ENSO mixed-use development. SOURCE: City of Lynnwood.

The Multi-Family Housing Property Tax Exemption (MFTE) program began in 1995, codified as RCW 84.14, to incentivize residential development in urban centers, designated as “residential targeted areas,” for Washington’s largest cities, according to the Washington State Department of Commerce. Under these exemptions, a property owner, in this case ACG Acquisitions, LLC, does not have to pay property taxes on the residential improvements for a given number of years. Lynnwood City Council accepted the City’s Business & Development Services’ recommendation of eight years. The property owner will still pay tax on the land and on non-residential improvements like the commercial portion of a mixed-use building for the eight years, however.

On May 29, 2007, the City Council adopted Ordinance 2681 establishing the MFTE Program to encourage housing and redevelopment in the City Center District.

mixed-use development
ENSO mixed-use development. SOURCE: City of Lynnwood.

ENSO, currently under construction, is a mixed-use development to be located at 198th St SW and 40th Avenue West in downtown Lynnwood, better known as City Center. The 318-unit, 7-story building will consist of 4,235 square feet of commercial space on its ground floor.  The development will also consist of 397 parking spaces, and provide studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments at market value for residents. Preleasing is scheduled to begin in 18 months (Fall of 2025) with construction scheduled to be completed by April of 2026.

Council Vice President Julieta Altamirano-Crosby proposed the motion to approve Mayor Christine Frizzell to enter into an eight-year $6.4 million Multifamily Tax Emption (MFTE) for ACG Acquisitions, LLC, that was seconded by Council President George Hurst, and approved unanimously 7-0.

CITY LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

City Administration will begin using the newly updated Land Acknowledgement at the beginning of events, large gatherings, and before Board and Commission meetings that was approved with six votes and one abstention at Monday’s meeting. Council President Hurst motioned to approve the new statement with Council Vice President Altamirano-Crosby seconding.

Goerge Hurst
Lynnwood City Council President Goerge Hurst. SOURCE: Lynnwood Live stream.

Council President Hurst thanked Lynnwood’s Equity and Social Justice Advisor Doug Raiford for working with local tribes and the city’s internal equity team in developing the new land acknowledgment statement.

Patrick Decker
Lynnwood City Councilman Patrick Decker. SOURCE: Lynnwood Live stream.

Councilman Patrick Decker abstained from the vote citing he doesn’t know the legal ramifications of the new statement. The mayor approved Decker to email the following questions to Raiford for clarification:

  1. What rights rights are granted in the new statement?
  2. What are the liabilities for the city?
  3. How many people will see their lives improve by the new statement?
  4. How will residents see improvements from the new statement?
  5. How does the new statement increase diversity in a real way?
  6. Who is excluded and will be included in the new statement and how will it be used by the city council?

The new 2024 Land Acknowledgement will read:

We acknowledge that the City of Lynnwood is located on the traditional lands of the Snohomish Tribe and the confederation of Tulalip Tribes and their families. For generations, these Indigenous communities have lived on this land, and we recognize, support, and advocate alongside them.

We also acknowledge the forced removal of Indigenous communities from their Homelands as a result of the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. We understand that Land Acknowledgements are only the first step in our efforts to support Coast Salish tribes and educate non-Natives about their lived history. We strive to achieve this through building relationships with Indigenous communities, supporting Indigenous commerce, government-to-government partnerships, and lifting indigenous voices to create equity for all.

Through these actions, we hope to not only pay respect to the past but also collaborate in creating a sustainable future, hand in hand with the first protectors of our shared environment.

OTHER BUSINESS

The council presented two proclamations: Arbor Day and National Volunteer Week. The actions of an Executive Session related to the evaluation of the qualifications of an applicant for public employment will be discussed at the next Business Meeting on April 22. The Council did not share any more information.

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