The evening of April 24, 2019 saw Woodinville Mayor Elaine Cook and Woodinville City Manager, Brandon Buchanan conduct a 60-minute Town Hall meeting to a standing room only audience of 35 - 40 people in the Creekside MBK Senior Living lobby. The event was hosted by Creekside MBK and facilitated by the Woodinville Chamber, the Creekside kitchen provided finger food and a selection of wine was hosted by Lauren Ashton Cellars.
The event allowed Woodinville citizens and area residents to hear directly from the Mayor Cook. The dialog, as one would imagine, was both relaxed and engaging as the Mayor walked those in attendance through the items which were top of mind based on inquiries which she and the city had been fielding.
No surprise, transportation and parking were the first two topics of import discussed. The Mayor shared how the Civic Center project, which will preserve the Old Woodinville School and transform the area behind City Hall into a true center of activity, will also bring with it the addition of approximately 400 parking spaces.
Woodinville is poised for growth. She acknowledged that traffic in and through Woodinville is a challenge, and will continue to be. She queried of the attendees the population of the city, and shared how the current estimate places the population at approximately 14,000 residents and approximately 35,000 in the greater Woodinville area (those who have a Woodinville address).
Future residential expansion is occurring downtown (Woodin Creek project mentioned), which will bring an influx of residents in the coming years. The City is working diligently to be out in front of the development. City Manager Buchanan explained how a number of City driven projects were taking place, to include surveying all sidewalks and intersections for ADA compliance and safety hazards.
In addition, in response to a question concerning infrastructure, the relationship between the City and the Woodinville Water District was explained, with kudos being levied upon the Water District for their proactive engagement in keeping the infrastructure up-to-date, and for their collaborative engagement with area developers.
The ever-present topic of grocery stores within Woodinville was raised, and the Mayor and City Manager explained how the present offering of a single grocery store Haggen and both Target and Costco also offering grocery offerings were viewed as saturating by competitors. The Mayor further explained, how the population numbers, at the current level, was viewed as insufficient to attract additional grocers to Woodinville. That said, she is prepared to re-engage with these grocers as the Woodinville population grows in the coming years by more than a few thousand.
In response to a query about preserving the Sammamish Valley and being environmentally aware. The Mayor offered how she and the city have been in touch with King County concerning land use issues on lands which border the city. And responded to an inquiry if letter writing would help, in the affirmative, given King County legislative council is expected to rule on the current issues in a matter of weeks. She also offered how she has been in touch with Puget Sound Energy (electricity provider for the city) to learn how the City of Woodinville might adjust their electricity sourcing to be 100 percent green. She assured those present, the options being discussed were very promising.