The City of Burlington is embracing smart growth and low impact development principles for commercial redevelopment. To date, Burlington has demonstrated its commitment to smart growth principles in its efforts to revitalize its downtown (“Downtown”), improve its residential neighborhoods, prevent future sprawl, and improve water quality.
Burlington, Washington (pop. 8,445) is located in a bend on the scenic Skagit River with prime farmland on its remaining two edges. It has an aging (“Downtown”) downtown business district and adjacent modest residential neighborhoods reflecting an early 20th-century small lot development pattern. Uniquely situated at the intersection of major highways (Interstate 5 and State Highway 20) and railways, Burlington sat relatively undiscovered until 1989. At that time, rapid commercial development started with Cascade Mall, K-Mart and the Outlet Shoppes, followed by over 5.3 million square feet of commercial and industrial space in less than 20 years. Redeveloping this automobile-oriented mall, big box and strip commercial area into a walkable, livable, economically sustainable mixed-use community is the preeminent smart growth challenge facing the City of Burlington.
The City of Burlington is in the process of defining goals, setting direction, and finding strategies for smart growth and economic development.