On October 29, 2018, after two months of Q&A, deliberations, presentations and public meetings, the Snoqualmie City Council approved the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s master plan application to expand the iconic Salish Lodge and Spa.
The expansion – located across SR 202 from Snoqualmie Falls Park and the current Salish Lodge & Spa – would include an expanded hotel, meeting and event facilities, outdoor event space, a spa and fitness center, up to 60 managed residential units and a 150-unit residential development.
The expansion has been in the works about 15 years, beginning with a development agreement in 2004 that was amended over the years, with a final amended agreement between the Muckleshoot Tribe and the city approved in May 2016.
A general land use application and master plan was submitted by the Tribe, which owns the approximate 50-acre site, in April 2018 initiating a city review process.
In August, the city’s Planning Commission recommended the council approve the Salish Expansion Master Plan. Council members then deliberated over the course of seven regular and special meetings, making some modifications to the Planning Commission’s recommended conditions of approval.
The council approved the master plan by a 6-1 vote, with Councilmember Shepard voting no and voicing concerns that the amended development agreement was no longer valid and that the traffic study was outdated.
The council’s modifications to the master plan included aspects related to parking, housing types, number of managed residential units, view analysis and affordable housing. They also added new conditions such as parking and tree management plans.
Councilmember Sundwall said, “The vote was a culmination of more than a decade of work by two separate City administrations and the Muckleshoot Tribe to bring about a mutually beneficial development that will fulfill the Tribe’s entitlement to develop on their land while offering Snoqualmie citizens additional affordable housing and another needed source of tourism and tax revenue. After dozens of hours of deliberation, I and five of my fellow councilmembers felt the proposed development fell within the parameters allowed within our city code and voted accordingly.”
The council’s approval launched a 21-day judicial appeal period required by law. By the end of November city staff should know if there are any appeals of the council’s recent decision.
Barring any appeals, Snoqualmie Community Development Director Mark Hofman said next year the applicant would begin fulfilling the conditions of master plan approval, including applying for a Binding Site Improvement Plan, review of an affordable housing plan, review of a residential design standards plan and more. He said substantial grading or construction is realistically anticipated to begin in 2020.
The expansion is proposed to be completed in three phases, with construction taking approximately three to four years.
Read our article, First Look at Salish Lodge Expansion Plans for photos and description of all constructions phases.
You can also visit the city’s Salish Lodge & Spa expansion project page for more history of the development.