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Councilmember K. Johnson pointed out there was a public hearing later on the agenda. Mayor Nelson <br />requested the public hold their comments regarding the tree code until that agenda item. This agenda item <br />is for public comments regarding any topic other than the tree code. <br />Nicole Hughes, Edmonds, chair of the Citizens Economic Development Commission, spoke in support <br />of the agenda item to consider a zone amendment to add hotels to the list of permitted primary uses in the <br />Commercial Waterfront zone. This issue was in front of the Council for consideration in February 2020. <br />At that time, the Council heard from the EDC in the form of a memo in support of the zone update. She <br />renewed that support and refreshed the reasoning through the lens of the impact that COVID has had on <br />Edmonds businesses and property owners. In considering the post-COVID emergence of the City and <br />businesses, this zone update will provide even greater flexibility for some properties in the CW district <br />and possibly provide the City the potential to have one of the only boutique beachfront hotels in the <br />greater Seattle area. The zone amendment applies only to development that would occur as a reuse of <br />current buildings, only three exist in the zone, and will not change the character or view corridors on the <br />waterfront. The benefit of a boutique hotel on the waterfront could amplify the success of the Waterfront <br />Center as well as business activity in the waterfront area and the downtown core. When the EDC studied <br />this opportunity, they learned overnight guests spend 2-3 times more in the local economy than day- <br />trippers. This change also gives existing property owners the ability to pivot or repurpose a property into a <br />new use like a boutique hotel. Having that ability to adjust a business strategy with an expanded list of <br />use options gives property owners the greatest flexibility possible to emerge in the post-COVID economy. <br />From an economic standpoint, the expansion of permitted uses to include a hotel could have significant <br />economic impact and potentially accelerate post-COVID recovery for the City. She thanked the Council <br />for putting this back on the agenda and considering this zone amendment. <br />Beth Fleming, Edmonds, a 12-year resident, spoke about the recent happenings regarding the Police <br />Chief hiring. Although that may seem like dragging it through the mud again, as a citizen she has been <br />following a lot of what transpired although she was not looped in on the candidates before the Council's <br />vote. When she missed the Council's vote, believing it would occur on December 15t" but was moved to <br />the 8"', she began to educated herself on what was going on. She expressed disappointment with Mayor <br />Nelson's lack of transparency. She was hopeful the recent MEN interview would contain more <br />information to clarify what went wrong in process, but was disappointed once again when even though <br />Mayor Nelson admitted he was human and all humans make mistakes, he made the choice to once again <br />blame people who were asking for answers, something she found surprising because the community looks <br />to him as their leader, mayor and elected official. She thanked Councilmember Olson for showing great <br />integrity and character in the process and making sure the information was thorough and shared with the <br />Council before the vote. Unfortunately that was not taken under serious consideration. She read an <br />October 24, 2019 quote from Mayor Nelson when he was running for mayor in response to the Edmonds <br />Beacon asking what role the mayor provides in the community, "As a public servant it is vital that the <br />mayor listen to the community that they represent. We have seen what happens in Edmonds when elected <br />officials move forward without listening to our citizens first. While listening and learning are important, <br />actions speak louder than words. To be an effective leader, the mayor must also act on what they hear and <br />learn from our citizens." She respectfully asked Mayor Nelson to listen to the community and to be a <br />good leader. <br />Finis Tupper, Edmonds, referred to an email sent by Council President Paine to the Edmonds Beacon <br />stating the City's Comprehensive Emergency Plan was optional. He pointed out emergency planning is a <br />federal mandate that started after Katrina. The federal government provides funds to the state which are <br />distributed to cities. One only needs to look at the interlocal agreement to determine that the City of <br />Edmonds needs a functional, current, updated Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. That City <br />response was totally misstated with regard to what the City's duties are. He asked who wrote that <br />Edmonds City Council Approved Minutes <br />February 2, 2021 <br />Page 3 <br />