The Snoqualmie Valley lacks affordable housing. The City says a new project would increase housing inventory diversity in Snoqualmie.
It’s been the talk of Facebook for three days now, a new Affordable Housing Project was submitted to the City of Snoqualmie in late May. The previous project proposed by Imagine Housing fell through about three years ago and the city has yet to meet its quota of affordable rental housing required by the Snoqualmie Ridge II Mixed Use Final Plan.
The Ridge is almost built out so the clock is ticking.
Panorama Apartments LLC, a subsidiary of DevCo (also developed Discovery Heights in the Issaquah Highlands), submitted the new application, proposing to build a 191-unit, multi-family development on land parcel S-20 located in the Eagle Point neighborhood.
The land parcel is located downhill from an adjoining Eagle Pointe neighborhood and near the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital. It was designated to hold affordable housing years ago. According to the city, the parcel cannot be used for other purposes due to a 25-year covenant recorded against the property’s title, which limits the parcel’s uses to affordable multi-family rental apartment housing.
Panorama Apartments Proposal
DevCo is proposing the 191 units be spread over ten multi-family buildings of various sizes and number of units ranging from one to five bedroom floor plans. As S-20 is a sloped property, at the top where it adjoins an existing single-family home neighborhood, two-story over garage carriage houses are proposed in order to blend. Larger three and four-story buildings would be set on terraces down the property’s slope. The complex would also have an on-site recreation and leasing center. Conceptual sketches show a pool included in the rec center. According to the application, the distribution of buildings, parking, recreation and landscaping would create a campus-like setting.
Minor Modifications Requested
To accommodate the project’s design, DevCo has applied for administrative approval of a minor modification to the 2004 Snoqualmie Ridge II Mixed Use Final Plan conditions and a Conditional Use Permit.
According to the City of Snoqualmie: “The approvals sought as part of the application are limited and address a few technical issues. The minor modification application seeks to confirm net developable acreage and, due to the site’s slope, to increase retaining wall heights above six feet. The Conditional Use Permit application seeks Hearing Examiner approval of four-story building heights. The minor modification and conditional use permit process are specifically provided for in the Snoqualmie Ridge II Development Agreement and Mixed Use Final Plan conditions.”
Per the city, the decisions on these requested approvals will be made administratively – NOT by the City Council. “As provided in the Mixed Use Final Plan Conditions, the decision on the minor modification request will be made by the Community Development Department Director with the concurrence of the chair of the Community Development Committee of the City Council.”
But, in accordance with the Snoqualmie Municipal Code, the decision on the Conditional Use Permit will be made by an outside Hearing Examiner where the public will have an opportunity to provide comments. That Hearing Examiner Public Hearing has not be scheduled yet.
Public notice of these applications was mailed to owners of property within 500 feet of the site earlier this week. (Hence the Facebook discussion.) The notice will also be published in the Snoqualmie Valley Record, and at the S20 site in Eagle Pointe.
The project will also be discussed on Monday, July 3rd at 6PM at a combined Community Development Committee and Council Committee of the Whole Meeting. (Meeting agenda HERE).
That meeting will happen at City Hall in Council Chambers. Another project that has generated a lot of public discussion recently – a possible Snoqualmie Hills West land annexation proposed to accommodate an 800-home active adult community – will also be discussed at Monday’s meeting.
Community Development Director Mark Hofman said these two discussion items won’t have packet materials, but will be presented on the projector and then discussed by committee members. The meeting is open to the public. (Staff had tried to move the meeting to July 5th, but due to scheduling conflicts, the meeting needed to stay at its earlier planned date and time.)
Hofman said by Monday city staff will have more details regarding the income qualifiers for the proposed affordable housing project – i.e. will it be 60% or 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) of King County.
Via email he commented, “At this point we know they [DevCo] are obligated to meet the SR II affordable housing credits and they are committed to that. What we don’t know is the exact mix of the 191 units and at what range of AMI they will be rented at. After Monday night, it will be as clear as we can get it until the project reviews are complete and the process has run its course.”
Written Comments also Welcomed
Written comments on the minor modification and conditional use permit application may submitted to Mark Hofman, City of Snoqualmie, PO Box 987, Snoqualmie, WA 98065 by July 16th, 2017 at 5PM.