ACE Community Engagements

  • Do you love Edmonds?
  • Do you want to retain the small town feel of the Bowl?
  • Do you want responsible development throughout Edmonds to provide additional and affordable housing and business?
  • Do you want to be advised when issues impacting any of these arise?
  • Do you want to know how to make your voice heard to public officials and fellow citizens?

Well, this is what ACE is all about!

  • Decrease in First Floor Height Downtown Central Core ACE has reviewed a proposal to lower the existing first floor height requirement from 15ft to 12ft in the BD1 zone (Main from 6th Ave to 3RD Ave and Fifth from Main to Maple, which says will allow the 3 stories within the existing 30 ft. height limit.
  • Transparency – ACE has concerns about growing “lack of transparency” in several areas of City Government (Council, Boards, Committees and Task Forces), the Port and the City website, and has recommended tangible ideas for improvements.
  • Housing Strategy – ACE reviewed and commented on proposals by the City of Edmonds that could have impacted future growth and development. The City’s final report followed creation of a Housing Strategy Task Force  by the Mayor back in 2017.  Details have been available for review at  ACE members discussed concerns at ACE meetings and attended public forums during 2018 before presenting the City with an extensive list of comments. Some areas in support and other areas opposed. (These comments are viewable on the ACE website.) As of early 2019, it appears that the City housing strategy may be on-hold at least for now. However, citizens should continue to stay informed and make their concerns known to City representatives.
  • Parking – ACE ongoing concerns about the parking (or lack thereof) in the downtown and elsewhere, and what can be done to resolve the problems.
  •  Harbor Square – ACE members carefully studied the issues and participated in many public forums regarding a Port of Edmonds redevelopment proposal for the port-owned Harbor Square property (adjacent to the Edmonds Marsh and SR104-Dayton Street). The Port proposal could have meant 55′ buildings (above current 30 feet height limits); substantially increased building density and limited open space; and reduced environmental set-backs from a historic wetland. The Port encountered considerable community opposition and withdrew its proposal in late 2014.
  • Quasi-Judicial Change — ACE has taken the position that the City Council of Edmonds should continue to accept appeals of hearing examiner decisions on land use matters rather than defer responsibilities to Snohomish County Superior Court.
  • Creative District — ACE has expressed strong interest and support for a Creative Arts District designation for part of the downtown core. The City successfully received approval from the State of Washington in November 2018. We believe this is the first such designation of its kind in the state.
ACE has been actively engaged in activities designed to preserve the small town character of the City of Edmonds since ACE was formed in 2004.



  • ACE did comprehensive review and provided comments on the Mayor’s proposed Housing Strategy.


  • ACE hosted its 6th semi-annual candidates forum jointly with the Edmonds Senior Center for  City Council and (for the first time) Port Commission candidates.
  • ACE corroborated with Save Our Marsh group on concerns related to the negative impacts of proposed re-development on the marsh environment.
  • ACE publicized information regarding the parking on Sunset Avenue.


  • ACE complimented Parks & Recreation (redevelopment of Civic Playfield) and a Mayors’ Task Force (Waterfront Access alternatives) for their transparency and involvement of the public these processes
  • ACE studied changes to the Critical Areas Ordinance being discussed by the city and provided specific comments and suggestions to Mayor/Council in March 2016.
  • ACE asked the City to consider whether building a new community center directly on the waterfront was too risky given the likelihood and timing of rising sea levels as part of global warming.
  • ACE questioned whether it was necessary for the base of a structure in Harbor Square to be raised by 2 feet.


  • ACE supported sun-setting the 17-member all-appointee Citizens Economic Development Commission formed during the 2008 economic recession. This was accomplished by the City Council in late 2015. However, the Commission was re-formed in 2016 after further discussions between the Mayor and Council.
  • ACE published an article on the activities to rezone Harbor Square to ensure public complete understanding of the proposed changes.
  • ACE published articles to the public discussing height-limits changes downtown.  This resulted in a defeat of efforts to increase heights.
  • ACE urged the Mayor’ Task Force studying long term and short term waterfront access issues to focus on the immediate safety access alternative first.  This option is currently under development.
  • Asked all Council candidates in our 5th Candidate Forum and directly if unchallenged to state their position on raising building heights in downtown Edmonds, Westgate, and other areas.  All stated opposition to raising building heights in the downtown / waterfront area.

2009 – 2014

  • ACE vigorously opposed a plan by the Port of Edmonds to re-develop Harbor Square into a mixed use commercial / residential complex with buildings ranging from 30 ft (existing height limit) to residential buildings up to 55 ft within 25 ft of the marsh boundary and 10 ft of Dayton St. This effort, supported by many citizens, was withdrawn by the Port in 2013 and officially rejected by the Council thereafter for procedural purposes.

2011 – 2012

  • ACE promoted and provided input into redevelopment plans for both the Westgate and Five Corners areas of Edmonds.

2010 – 2011

  • ACE opposed a requested height increase to 34 ft (from existing 30’ zoning) on redevelopment of property between Main and Bell along 2nd Avenue that included a boutique hotel. The City enforced the existing 30 ft. height limit.


  • ACE was actively involved in opposition to the ongoing effort by a private developer for the then Old Safeway site along Sunset Avenue and WSDOT / Ferry holding lanes to redevelop property east of the railroad tracks along the waterfront. The developer abandoned its plans.


  • ACE formed late in 2004 because plans were being put forth by the City executive and consultants to increase height limits in the downtown from 25 to 30/33 ft. Ultimately the plan was abandoned, after which height limits in the downtown central core remained at that time at 25 and 30 ft.