On June 28, 2022, Hearing Examiner Sharon A. Rice issued a written decision on the Snoqualmie Mill Site Planned Commercial/Industrial (PCI) Plan. She affirmed the adequacy of the plan’s associated Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and recommended the Snoqualmie City Council approve the Mill Site PCI Plan.
Additionally, the written decision denied an appeal of the associated FEIS, stating the appellant’s case failed to show the initial determination of adequacy for the FEIS was clearly erroneous on any point.
As a Hearing Examiner, Ms. Rice – an attorney and land use expert – acted as an impartial 3rd party whose role was to provide a formal recommendation to the City Council on the PCI Plan, and determine the adequacy of the project’s FEIS, ensuring it followed local ordinances, applicable state law, and adheres to Washington’s SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) rules.
Over multiple days in late March and early April, Ms. Rice heard hours of public comment about the Mill Site PCI Plan, as well as legal testimony and evidence pertaining to an appeal of the adequacy of the associated FEIS.
About the Mill Site Project: The private project is proposed for the 261-acre former Weyerhaeuser Mill Site near downtown Snoqualmie and is owned by Snoqualmie Mill Ventures, LLC. The proposed project site does not include the nearby Mill Pond/Borst Lake, which Weyerhaeuser still owns.
Most of the property – approximately two-thirds of the project site – is planned to remain open space with natural areas, habitat, and flood storage. The re-developed portion of the property is scheduled to occur in three stages.
Planning area 1 would focus on producing and storing wine, re-developing this area with a mix of light industrial, commercial/retail, and warehouse buildings along a pedestrian-oriented main street featuring tasting rooms and restaurants.
It would also include 160 units of multi-family housing situated on the upper floors of the mixed-use buildings.
Planning areas 2 and 3 are proposed to be phased over the next 10-15 years.
Next Steps: The Snoqualmie City Council will consider the Mill Site Planned Commercial/Industrial Plan and an associated Development Agreement this summer. Subsequent steps include applications for building and infrastructure permits, which are required before the commencement of any construction.
Mayor Katherine Ross commented, “We are pleased with the Hearing Examiner’s decision, upholding our staff’s determination of adequacy for the thorough and complex Environmental Impact Statement for the Mill Site property. This project will revitalize this long-vacant property, enhancing the environment, creating jobs, and positively benefiting our local economy.”
See the Hearing Examiner’s entire written decision HERE.
To learn more about the proposed Snoqualmie Mill Site project, the Mill Site PCI Plan and associated FEIS, visit: https://www.snoqualmiewa.gov/888/Snoqualmie-Mill-Site.
[Information provided by the City of Snoqualmie]