Developer Land Swap: city gives land for parking, gets Park Street right of way

In mid October 2018, a Developer Agreement was negotiated and signed between the City of North Bend and 101 West Park, LLC – which is constructing the new retail building for Huxdotter Coffee at the corner of Main Ave and Park Street. The developer agreement put a chunk of city-owned land adjacent the Huxdotter property into an easement for the developer that will be used as [part of] the building’s parking lot – with spots for business patrons and the public.

The easement land is anticipated to yield about 15-20 parking spots, with about eight of those spaces dedicated as public parking for the downtown North Bend area.

The developer agreement included in the October 16th council agenda packet only noted the easement area, but did not detail the negotiated parking spots that will be constructed on the land. The agreement was also discussed and recommended at the Community Development Committee meeting that occurred the same day. (No minutes for the committee meeting could be found on the city’s website.)

During the October 16th council meeting where the agreement was approved, Councilmember Chris Garcia, who is a partner in 101 West Park LLC, recused himself while the topic was discussed.

Public Works Director and soon-to-be acting City Administrator Mark Rigos said the land use terms for the agreement first came up during pre application meetings between the Community Development Department and the developer approximately a year earlier.

North Bend Community Development Director David Miller called the agreement a good public-private partnership. He noted that frontage of the Huxdotter property was given to the city by the developer for a Right of Way (ROW) in order to widen Park Street and add a left turn lane at the Bendigo Blvd intersection. He said with the agreement the city gained needed downtown parking while not having to pay for added Park Street Right of Way.

Miller explained because property frontage was lost to the ROW, the land’s buildable area was reduced. He said additional land was also required for the developer to install a complicated underground stormwater drainage system and building placement was limited due to PSE’s refusal to relocate power poles. The result was the city put some of its adjacent land into an easement for the developer, with the agreement that whatever parking spaces were not required to meet the building’s needs would be designated as public parking spots.

The easement is located to the rear of the Huxdotter property and is also behind the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum. The developer is responsible for constructing and maintaining the parking lot. Miller said the city will probably use directional signage and stenciled markings on the spots to identify these public spaces located within the private Huxdotter parking lot.

Some residents do not consider the easement for the parking a good thing, including former North Bend Mayor Chris Lodahl who feels the land deal lacked transparency and also takes away the ability for the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum to expand in the future – something he says the museum has expressed interest in doing in the past.

Easement area outlined in blue.

Easement area located by Huxdotter property and behind Snoqualmie Valley Historical museum

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