Agenda Bill to Buy Snoqualmie Ridge Land for Affordable Housing Pulled from City Council Agenda

Update, December 5, 2013, 6:45AM:

As quickly as the first press release went out announcing a possible council vote authorizing the city to purchase land for Imagine Housing’s affordable housing apartment complex, a second press release went out yesterday, December 4th, announcing the agenda bill up for that vote was pulled from the December 9th Snoqualmie City Council meeting agenda.

According to the release, “The agenda bill regarding the potential purchase and sale of parcel S-20 by the City of Snoqualmie has been removed from the agenda of the Snoqualmie City Council meeting scheduled for December 9, 2013. At this time, there is a consensus by Mayor Larson and members of the City Council that consideration of this topic at this time is premature.”

Read the original story on the topic below.

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There is a new development in the year and half old plan to bring 160 affordable housing apartments to the City of Snoqualmie and the master-planned neighborhoods of Snoqualmie Ridge.

At the Snoqualmie City Council meeting on December 9, 2013, council members will consider and vote on an agenda bill authorizing Mayor Larson to enter into a purchase and sale agreement for city acquisition of land parcel S-20 on Snoqualmie Ridge.  The council will also consider authorizing Mayor Larson to enter into an agreement with affordable housing developer, Imagine Housing, for the company’s eventual purchase of the property in mid-2014.

Parcel S-20 is adjacent to the Eagle Point neighborhood near I-90 and is designated for affordable housing, a requirement of the Snoqualmie Ridge II Mixed Use Final Plan. The city is considering purchasing the land for $600,000, significantly discounted from its market rate $2.1 million. A stipulation of the seller is that purchase of the land be completed by the end of 2013 and Imagine Housing cannot secure financing in time to complete the purchase of the parcel S-20 property.

Land parcel S-20 in Eagle Point neighborhood of Snoqualmie Ridge designated for affordable housing.

Land parcel S-20 in Eagle Point neighborhood of Snoqualmie Ridge designated for affordable housing.

Basically, the city would buy the land now and then sell the land back to Imagine Housing in 2014 for the full purchase price and any related costs.  According to a city press release, tax payers will not be impacted by the purchase and sale agreement in any way.

If the city council votes to approve the Snoqualmie’s purchase of the property, it’s expected that Imagine Housing will move forward to secure the required project approvals from the city and secure financing for project development.  To date, Imagine Housing has expended approximately $250,000 in design costs for the proposed project that was announced in June 2012.

Mayor Larson explained, “My administration is committed to providing well-managed and designed affordable housing in Snoqualmie.”  Her further added, “There are many working families and individuals earning less than median incomes who need safe and affordable rental housing. The City Council has not committed to the Imagine Housing project at this time, but having property available that could make an affordable housing project even possible is critical at this point for any developer to secure financing.”

The Snoqualmie City Council meeting is Monday, December 9th at 7PM, Snoqualmie City Hall, 38624 SE River Street.

Comments

  1. Charlene Lewalski says

    Questions citizens should be asking…Why would the owners of the property be willing to sell the property for $600,000 significantly lower than the $2.1 million market rate? Why is the City willing to front a private entity and private investors with the citizens’ tax money (Cities get their monies from taxes paid by citizens) Why is the City getting involved in a private real estate sale? $600,000 IS a commitment to Imagine Housing and conveniently NOT discussed at a public meeting or on a City Council Agenda prior to it being voted on Dec. 9 Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture??? The City passed a 1% increase in our taxes just last City Council meeting. The school board is asking the residents to support a $215 million dollar bond that is going to be up for vote in April. If the City has an extra $600,000 to front a private entity…why don’t we “front” that money to build a new elementary school that is so badly needed

  2. I’m more concerned with an entity, that can’t secure funding for something they’ve been planning for some time, eventually getting control of the land. If they aren’t well funded I can see shortcuts, shoddy construction or worse yet abandoned half completed projects. Are these the only guys that want to build the affordable housing?

  3. It’s very interesting that this is occurring immediately AFTER the election. Purchasing and simultaneously entering into an agreement to resell the property is essentially a loan to Imagine Housing. In my opinion the city shouldn’t be extending loans to any developer, non profit, low income, or otherwise.

  4. “At this time, there is a consensus by Mayor Larson and members of the City Council that consideration of this topic at this time is premature”
    So who put this on the agenda? And who caused it to be removed? Sounds a lot more like it was removed from the agenda because it turned out people were in fact paying attention.

  5. I think everyone’s comments are spot on. This seems really dirty and risky. What happens when the developer can’t buy or build it? The city gets stuck holding a piece of property. What is it going to be then-another park?

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