At the January 3rd North Bend City Council meeting, council members will be asked to consider amending the city’s municipal code to allow RV Parks in a new area of the city – the Interchange Commercial (IC) zone – as well as provide additional performance standards that address any future RV parks. Currently the city has two IC zones – one off I-90 exit 31 and another off exit 34.
The exit 34 Interchange Commercial Zone is a relatively small – about 33 acres – encompassing the 16-acre Truck Town site and land parcels across from it between 468th Ave SE and SE 144th – where the Edgewick Inn, gas stations and some vacant land parcels sit. Most vacant parcels are owned by King County Waste Water, Korchina Co. (Edgewick Inn owner) and Edgewick and Associates.
According to the council agenda packet, as the Middle Fork Valley continues to grow as an outdoor recreation area, the City of North Bend has been part of planning meetings with representatives from Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, U.S. Forest Service, the Department of Natural Resources and the City of Snoqualmie – evaluating how to best promote recreational tourism.
As the exit 34 IC zone sits in close proximity to the increasingly popular Middle Fork area, AND the need for additional RV parks was identified during the multi-agency planning meetings, a first step would be to permit RV park usage in the Interchange Commercial zone. Currently RV parks are only allowed in North Bend’s Industrial zone.
City of North Bend Senior Planner Mike McCarty said the idea of RV Parks near the Middle Fork area happened during those planning meeting conversations, when parties discussed possible economic development generators as recreational opportunities continue to develop in the Middle Fork area. McCarty described potential RV parks as an ‘interface between the city and nearby recreation opportunities.’
According to the City of North Bend agenda bill summary statement, a number of properties in the exit 34 IC zone meet the criteria and could be a good fit to hold RV Parks – “given the forested existing character of these properties, proximity to other travel services, and their location between I-90 and the Middle Fork Valley.”
McCarty explained that while these planning conversations were occurring, an exit 34 property owner had also inquired about the possibility of an RV park development on his/her land. McCarty stated, though, that no formal plans for such a development have been submitted to the city, rather it was just an inquiry from a property owner.
Since September, Planning commission and Community and Economic Development Committee have also worked to craft RV Park Land Use Performance Standards amendments to ensure any new parks are “compatible with surrounding uses, retain a higher level of existing trees, and are consistent with the City’s rural character and recreational branding efforts.” Some of the amendments maintain the 180-day limit for RV stays and add new standards to address design of any cabin units built within the parks.
After a public hearing on the topic and refinement of amendment language, in October the Planning Commission recommended approval of the amendments. City staff is also recommending the council approve both the RV usage in the Interchange Commercial zone and the performance standard amendments.