Last week a Hearing Examiner approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) allowing Life Enrichment Options (LEO) Homes to build a new special needs group home on 384th Ave SE near SE 86th PL in downtown Snoqualmie.
Life Enrichment Options (LEO) is a “community- based nonprofit organization that advocates for and works to support individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve their life vision and goals through supportive housing, recreation, employment opportunities and community education.”
LEO has built three other group homes in King County, including one in the nearby Issaquah Highlands, which house up to six developmentally delayed adults and one caregiver licensed and managed by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.
In its testimony to the Hearing Examiner, Fred Nystrom – of Milbrandt Architects who acted on behalf of Life Enrichment Options – explained that there are an estimated 5,000 disabled individuals residing with aging parents in King County with no local long-term housing options.
Nystrom said this would be the first LEO group home in the Snoqualmie Valley. The proposed site will be cleared of a trailer and an aging, foundation-less home, allowing for the new group home to be built back from the street and in accordance with all city setback codes.
A circular driveway with parking for up to six cars for visiting family, friends and caregivers is also proposed for the site to provide adequate off street parking. The applicant is also considering adding an organic garden to the .39 acre property.
One neighbor testified in support of the group home, also suggesting that some type of hedge be planted on the property for privacy purposes.
In an email announcing the Condition Use Permit for the group home, City of Snoqualmie Community Development Director Mark Hofman said, “We welcome LEO Homes to our community and look forward to their service in providing essential special needs housing to our local community.”
A Notice of Decision regarding the approved CUP will be published in the Valley Record on February 16, 2018, starting a required 14-day appeal period. If the decision is appealed, the final CUP decision would go to the Snoqualmie City Council as a quasi-judicial matter.
You can learn more about the history and work of Life Enrichment Options at www.lifeenrichmentoptions.org
It is not yet known when construction would begin.