Redmond's Future

Our Future Vision for Redmond in 2030

 
From Redmond Comprehensive Plan -
Goals, Vision, and Framework Policies

What would Redmond be like as a place to live, work or visit if the community’s values and preferences were achieved? The vision statement describes Redmond in the year 2030 if the Comprehensive Plan were implemented.

Community Vision Statement

In 2030 Redmond citizens describe their community as one that is complete, offering a wide range of services, opportunities, and amenities. It’s a community that has acted to maintain a balance among the three pillars of sustainability, while accommodating growth and change. As a result, Redmond’s high quality of life, cherished natural features, distinct places, and character are enhanced. The community’s evolution has successfully woven the small town feel of older, established neighborhoods with the energy and vitality of Redmond’s urban centers. The result is a place where people are friendly, often meet others they know and feel comfortable and connected. It is a place where diversity and innovation are embraced, and action is taken to achieve community objectives. It’s a place that is home to people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, which contribute to the richness of the city’s culture.

Achieving a balance between accommodating growth and preserving Redmond’s unique features and livability was challenging, but over the past 20 years through the clear, shared direction contained in the Comprehensive Plan, the vision has taken shape and throughout Redmond the results are apparent.

In 2030 Redmond’s two urban centers—Downtown and Overlake—are thriving centers of residential and commercial activity. Downtown is an outstanding place to work, shop, live and recreate and is a destination for many in Redmond and in the region. Attractive offices, stores, services, and residential developments have contributed to a new level of vibrancy, while retaining a comfortable, connected feel that appeals to residents, business and visitors. Many more people live Downtown, and housing choices include a wide range of pricing options. Strategic public and private investments have created a true multidimensional urban center with several new and expanded public amenities, including the City Hall campus, Downtown Central Park and the Redmond Central Connector, that are gathering places for the community; an arts and community cultural center; a pedestrian connection to Marymoor Park; a vibrant Saturday market and a variety of quality arts and cultural programs and performances.

Various portions of Downtown have their own identities, design and appeal, and it is easy to walk, bicycle, use transit or drive between them as well as to the rest of Redmond and the region. Many visitors walk or take transit to get to their destinations or park in one of the conveniently located garages. The congestion of 20 years ago has been tempered primarily by providing convenient and effective transportation alternatives together with improved operations and then increased capacity in strategic locations, such as SR 520 and important connections in the street grid.

Old Town thrives as a focus for retail activity that attracts pedestrians, providing a distinctive selection of stores, restaurants, boutiques and theaters, as well as varied housing opportunities. New buildings blend with refurbished buildings, retaining the area’s historic character. Cleveland Street is a pleasant place to walk or sit, and people fill the street during the day and evening. The Redmond Central Connector (the former railroad right-of-way) has been transformed to an urban green space that people of all ages enjoy, with convenient access to light rail, as well as places to stroll, gather and talk with others, celebrate, or stop and peek in store windows while walking to Old Town or Redmond Town Center.

Large open spaces, such as the Sammamish River, Downtown Central Park, the Redmond Central Connector, Anderson Park and Bear Creek, as well as abundant landscaping and a system of parks and other gathering places, create a sense of Downtown as an urban place within a rich natural environment. A network of walkways, trails, vista points and plazas enable people to enjoy the natural beauty of the river, views of surrounding hillsides and mountains and other points of interest. Recent developments along the Sammamish River are oriented to and embrace the river, while maintaining adequate natural buffers.

Overlake has become a regional urban center that is the location of internationally known companies, corporate headquarters, high technology research and development companies, and many other businesses. While intensively and efficiently developed, the employment areas retain their campus-like feel due to attractive landscaping and the protection of significant trees and other important natural features. During the past 20 years, redevelopment of Overlake Village has brought retail storefronts closer to the street and improvements to streetscapes to reflect the green character of Redmond, making the area more hospitable to transit, pedestrians and bicyclists. This portion of Overlake has also become much more diverse, featuring small neighborhoods with a variety of housing choices, small-scale shopping and services to serve employees and residents, and connections to a network of parks, sidewalks, trails and transit services. In many ways Overlake has demonstrated that high technology uses can thrive in a sustainable urban setting that offers opportunities to live, work, shop and recreate for an increasingly diverse workforce.

Redmond is treasured for its attractive character, natural assets, friendly and welcoming atmosphere, diversity, safety and quiet settings. Redmond includes a broad choice of housing types at a range of prices, including affordable homes. During the past 20 years, there has been much more variety in the types and prices of newly constructed homes, including more cottages, accessory dwelling units, attached homes, live-work units and other smaller single-family homes. New homes blend with existing homes and the natural environment, retaining valued characteristics of neighborhoods as they continue to evolve. While single-family neighborhoods have remained stable, the number and variety of multifamily housing choices have increased significantly, especially in mixed-use developments in the Urban Centers. Through careful planning and community involvement, changes and innovation in housing styles and development have been embraced by the community. Residents enjoy a feeling of connection to their neighborhoods and to the community as a whole.

Redmond has acted to maintain a strong economy and a diverse job base. The city is the home to many small, medium-size and locally owned businesses and services, as well as nationally and internationally recognized corporations. Redmond is widely recognized as inviting for advanced technology, and businesses are proud to be partners in the community. The city provides a positive business climate that supports innovation and attracts sustainable development while retaining existing businesses. Likewise, the successful companies return benefits directly and indirectly to the community. A prime example of this is the support that residents and the business community have given to the school system to create a high-quality educational system that serves the needs of people of all ages.

In 2030 Redmond has a park and open space system that provides a natural area or recreational opportunity within walking distance of every resident. Neighborhood and community parks contribute to a high quality of life in Redmond by providing a full array of opportunities ranging from active recreation, such as sports games and swimming, to more restful and reflective activities, such as walking and viewing wildlife.

The city is framed within a beautiful natural setting with a system of open spaces and parks having diverse natural resources that provide habitat for a variety of wildlife and serve environmental functions. Lake Sammamish, the Sammamish River and Bear Creek, historically surrounded by farmland, are present in the heart of Redmond. These are focal points of Redmond’s park system, which has many miles of trails and a variety of parks located alongside. Public access to shorelines along these water bodies is enhanced, while maintaining protection for the natural environment.

Green spaces and interconnected trails and paths support active, healthy living. Redmond has an excellent and readily accessible system of paths and trails used by walkers, cyclists, equestrians and others as they recreate or commute, both within the city and to other parts of the region.

Parks and indoor recreation facilities are vibrant gathering places where recreation and cultural events attract a wide range of ages and cultures. Recreation programs are continuously updated to reflect the changing needs of a diverse population and to make Redmond an active and interesting place to live and visit.

Other indoor facilities provide unique recreational opportunities, such as aquatics, indoor field sports, classroom programs, gymnasium-related sports, fitness and dance classes, or drop-in spaces. Collaboration with other communities and agencies helps Redmond reach its goal to have year-round facilities to serve its residents and employees. This is cost-efficient and enables each community to achieve more than might be possible independently.

The City’s parks, innovative recreation services, and unique art and cultural experiences continue to provide a high quality of life in Redmond. Community members are able to improve their health and well-being, appreciate art, enjoy great parks and celebrate the cultural diversity of Redmond.

Redmond’s 2030 transportation system offers people a variety of real choices for how we get between where we live, work, shop and play. Each year, more people walk, bicycle, carpool or use transit to travel within the city to access the regional bus and light rail system because land uses that reflect our vibrant community character have created a strong market demand for these options. Our transportation infrastructure reflects this by prioritizing more people-oriented travel that supports Redmond’s land use, manages our limited roadways most efficiently, and provides a transportation system that embodies the City’s sustainability principles and achieves Redmond’s land use pattern and vision.

The City has invested strategically and leveraged regional funds to ensure a safe, well-maintained system, improve transportation choices and mobility, and support our two Urban Centers, Downtown and Overlake. Neighborhoods have increased access to the hubs of Downtown and Overlake, neighboring cities and the region. Significant investments in SR 520, I-405 and regional and local transit routes have improved mobility for people and goods. In Redmond, roadway projects have been built where needed to improve safety and operating efficiency or to create more accessible connections. The City continues to maintain an effective system of access and circulation for delivery and freight. Streetscapes are attractive, well designed and enhance environmental quality for various travel modes.

In responding to significant energy costs and new vehicle fuel options and technologies, the City has developed alliances with other agencies and the private sector to create new opportunities and efficiencies. In turn, these alliances support easy access to electric vehicle charging stations and other alternative fueling infrastructures, as well as access to information about travel conditions, incidents, and transit arrival and departure times.

Infrastructure and services meet the needs of a growing population and promote a safe and healthy community. The planning and placement of utilities in Redmond has supported the community’s vision for the location and amount of growth. Long-term planning for utilities has contributed to a high quality of life for Redmond residents and businesses by ensuring efficient utility delivery. Proper utility planning has also protected Redmond’s natural environment and resources. Upgrades to the sanitary sewer system have eliminated many septic systems, thereby controlling contaminants released into the environment. The City has protected the natural environment by developing stormwater systems to prevent or reduce excess stormwater runoff, designing and upgrading systems and plans to prevent damage to the environment, and by fostering conservation operationally and by implementing low-impact development practices.

Redmond provides high-quality public safety services and well-maintained and dependable public facilities. The community continues to enjoy excellent fire and emergency response times, professional police services, beautiful parks, clean drinking water, and effective wastewater and stormwater management because the capital facilities needed to provide these services were, and still are, planned and maintained for the long term. An efficient multimodal transportation system has taken shape and is continually improved. This long-term planning for services and facilities carries out the Comprehensive Plan goals and policies, such that new development and new services and facilities arrive concurrently.

Redmond residents embrace and support the high-quality educational, cultural and recreational facilities in the community. The City works in partnership with schools, businesses, service providers, and other organizations and jurisdictions to maintain and strengthen a human services network that provides the food, shelter, job training, child care and other services residents need to be thriving members of our community. Locally grown food sources, farmers markets and community gardens provide healthy and sustainable options. Public art and cultural events are also integral to the City for community building, connecting people with arts and culture, and as a catalyst for creativity within the community. Redmond is recognized for its outstanding visual and performing arts programs that attract a wide range of ages and cultures and reflect the needs of a diverse population. It is an inviting place for artists to live and work, contributing to the overall desirability and charm of the community. A center to showcase performing and visual arts will be sited in a conveniently located, highly visible and active part of the city.

Redmond in 2030 has maintained a very green character. Citizens benefit from its livability which contributes to the general quality of life. The city is framed within a beautiful natural setting and open spaces, and an abundance of trees continue to define Redmond’s physical appearance, including forested hillsides that flank the Sammamish Valley, Lake Sammamish and Bear Creek. Clean air quality not only contributes to a healthy community, it also helps keep the scenic mountain vistas visible from the city. Likewise, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and particulate air pollutants enhances these benefits. A system of interconnected open spaces provides habitat for a variety of wildlife. The City prides itself for its environmental stewardship, including an emphasis on sustainable land use and development patterns, landscaping that requires little watering, and other techniques to protect and conserve the natural environment while flourishing as a successful urban community. People continue to enjoy Lake Sammamish and the Sammamish River for boating, swimming and other types of recreation. Bear and Evans Creeks provide regionally significant habitat for wild salmon spawning and rearing. Through many cooperative efforts, the improved water quality is demonstrated annually in the increasing salmon runs. Public access to shorelines has been enhanced, while protecting the natural environment and property owners’ rights. The open space and agricultural character of the north Sammamish Valley has been maintained and is highly valued by the community. Through the joint efforts of Redmond, King County and Washington State, the areas north and east of the city remain rural.

Redmond has reached its ultimate size, having annexed all remaining territory in its Potential Annexation Area so that residents may receive a full range of urban services. The new neighborhoods have been seamlessly interwoven with existing neighborhoods. The process of annexation has allowed new residents to enjoy high-quality facilities and services.

Redmond is an integral member of the regional planning community. As was the case in 2010, Redmond continues to work cooperatively in regional planning with neighboring jurisdictions, King County, neighboring counties, state agencies and other jurisdictions. Redmond is an active member of regional planning organizations where it simultaneously advances the interests of Redmond community members and works toward regional goals.

Though the city has experienced growth and change during the past 20 years, Redmond has maintained its distinctive character. The quality design of new development is a reflection of the value Redmond community members place on the community’s appearance. The design also reflects the diversity of the community. Care has been taken to create distinctive streets and pathways and to enhance the comfort, safety and usability of public places. Public view corridors and entryways have been preserved, and enhanced. The city’s historic roots are still apparent through preservation of special sites, structures, and buildings. Interpretive signage has also been used to enhance the city’s sense of its heritage.

Community gathering places are found throughout the city. Spaces for parks have been acquired and improved by the City, and plazas have been incorporated into new developments. Both public and private investment into place-making creates and maintains spaces where informal social gatherings and community building occur. The City and private partners have continued to sponsor a wide variety of community events in an array of public places. Community members also enjoy community gardens, parks and plazas, and walkable and bikeable neighborhoods which support healthy lifestyles and a sustainable future.

Care has been given to preserve elements of the natural environment. Landscaping regulations have ensured preservation of special natural areas and significant trees that define the character of the city. New landscaping has, when appropriate, incorporated native plants and low-impact development techniques. Areas of open space and forested groves near Town Center, along Redmond Way and in other locations have been preserved where possible through public/private collaboration. Through creative design, public and private projects have incorporated natural features and enhanced natural systems. Redmond continues to promote the value of the natural environment by inventorying and monitoring the elements that define the City’s green character, including forested parks and open space.

The cost of providing and maintaining Redmond’s quality services and facilities is borne equitably, balancing the needs of the community with those of the individual. Redmond continues to draw from diverse revenue streams in order to finance capital facility projects. Additionally, maintenance of new facilities is anticipated well in advance as part of the capital planning program ensuring facility maintenance costs can be effectively incorporated into the City’s operating budget. The public facility costs associated with new growth are recovered in part using impact fees that reflect up to date costs, including those related to land acquisition and construction. In addition, Redmond continues to seek grants and other outside funding in order to maintain its high quality of life.

Redmond is an effective, responsive local government that responds to and anticipates the changing needs of the community. Many people actively participate in Redmond’s planning process and system improvements, and their preferences are incorporated so that Redmond continues to be the place desired by members of the community.

In 2030, as now, Redmond is a community working together and with others in the region to implement a common vision for Redmond’s sustainable future.