Proposed 800-home, active adult development not done deal in Snoqualmie

Development group, Snoqualmie Heights Partners, has spent the last two years working on multiple pieces needed to bring forth their proposal for a 800-home, 55 and over age restricted community to the Snoqualmie City Council.

Even with ongoing land owner negotiations, as well as land use, engineering, water rights and transportation anlysis, the group says the proposal is not a “now project.”

It’s a far in the future project – and not a done deal, with many steps, planning, studies and communication needed before any new homes could be built in Snoqualmie on the needed 260 acres currently owned by approximately 35 different parties.

The proposed development would take about 12-14 years to complete. If it moved forward, the first home wouldn’t be constructed until 2021 and build out is predicted for 2030.

In a presentation to the Snoqualmie Economic Development Commission on May 17, 2017 Snoqualmie Heights partner Chip McBroom clarified the most critical piece needed for the project’s future: a land annexation approval from the city council.

But first let’s start with the roots of this proposal

The needed 260 acres of land sit between Snoqualmie Ridge, downtown Snoqualmie and the Snoqualmie casino – in the city’s Urban Growth Area referred to as Snoqualmie Hills West.

The city’s comprehensive plan is a key factor in what has brought this development proposal forward. All city’s have comprehensive plans. They are required by the state. ‘Comp plans’ are a 20-year road maps, providing authority and the policy framework for development and conservation within cities and their urban growth areas.

The plan guides a city’s decision-making regarding things like community character, land use, housing, transportation, sensitive areas/natural environment, capital facilities and utilities.

The location of future developments often trace back to a comprehensive plan – and what a city envisions for their urban growth areas, which is the unincorporated county land cities are allowed to annex guided by King County Urban Growth Act.

In the case of Snoqualmie’s Comprehensive Plan, Snoqualmie Hills West has designated land uses that include an “innovative mixed-use” development defined to included “a mix of residential types, sizes, costs, and living arrangements to expand the range of housing choices within the City, and may include small-scale or compatible retail and service uses…and could include age restricted, independent or assisted-living housing for seniors.”

The proposal: Snoqualmie Heights, Master planned, Active Adult Community

So now you know how we got here. With a strong job market, King County is growing fast. Cities within the county aren’t immune from that growth. The Growth Management Act essentially requires cities plan for and manage growth per their comprehensive plans.

According to the Snoqualmie Heights presentation, age restricted – often referred to as “retirement”-  communities are lacking in King County, and  the 55+ age group is predicted to be region’s fastest growing demographic in the coming decades. In fact, the proposed Snoqualmie project already has the interest of four national builders.

For the project to be viable, it requires 800 units, which is proposed to be a mix of 2-3 bedroom, single family homes ranging in size from 2,000 – 3,000 sq. ft, townhomes, and smaller condos. Those homes would be located on 220 acres. What would go on the remaining 40 acres would in part be determined by city needs, community input  – and  designated in a future mixed-use plan if a land annexation is approved.

An earlier presentation from the Snoqualmie Heights Group identified those 40-acres to contain retail with 400 apartments above and possibly an assisted living facility, but the group said this was just an early idea and there is flexibility for the city to decide what is most needed and appropriate.

But what about traffic, roads, water, affordability?

With any new development proposal comes many questions and objections, but the development group said it believes it is bringing forth a project with benefits for the city including: minimal new population pressure or burden on schools; lowest impact of daily commuting on roads, especially at peak hours; an age demographic that likes to shop locally; needed age diversity and balance within the city.

With the location of the proposed development, connector roads would have to be constructed, including access to downtown Snoqualmie, North Bend Way near the Casino and Snoqualmie Parkway. According to the presentation, this would be determined as the land use agreement was drafted and with community input.

As for increased traffic, according to the developer’s traffic analysis, the proposed project would generate less traffic than approved in city’s comprehensive plan for the Snoqualmie Hills West area upon development. The presentation also noted the importance of the I-90/SR 18 improvement project starting later this year and being completed about the same time as the first homes would be constructed in 2021.

Mayor Larson brought up the concern of water rights, saying it was his number one issue – that he would not let this project risk the water rights of other projects already in development. According to the group’s Water Rights attorney, they have identified some existing water rights and have been extensively working on the issue, but didn’t believe it would hold up their project.

It was noted that a pre-annexation agreement could contain language addressing water rights, stating there is reasonable expectation that water will be available, but establishing that no homes could be built until those rights were secured.

Economic development commission members brought up the need for affordable housing within the city, asking if the project would contain affordable housing options.  The developers noted, again, that would be determined as the mixed use agreement was developed if annexation was approved.  Mayor Larson noted that Snoqualmie Ridge I and II required 15% of homes be ‘affordable, a standard the city deems important.

Do Landowners Want to Sell?

As stated, the proposed development hinges on the city council approving a land annexation. The developer has been in contact with the approximate 35 land owners of the needed acreage, stating the value of the 260 acres is around $100 million.

While Snoqualmie Heights partner Chip McBroom stated all landowners were supportive, Mayor Larson pushed back saying that some residents had been in contact with him who not in favor of selling. One landowner in attendance stated he believed a majority of owners were in favor, but not all were supportive at this juncture.

Council member Brad Toft asked about holdouts. In the case of this private development, eminent domain would not come into play, but if there was a landowner who didn’t want to sell – a 10-acre parcel was used as an example – they would be subject to new zoning if they decided to sell in the future and the development could be designed around them.

Projected Timeline

The development group stated repeatedly during the presentation that they have been reaching out to ‘stakeholders’ and plan more community outreach. They reiterated that annexation is the first step – and although there are important questions to answer and studies to do – the group is prepared to take those steps in the future, but wasn’t ready to invest millions of dollars doing them before a land annexation was approved.

In order for the project to stay on its established timeline, the development group desires a land annexation formally approved by spring of 2018.  In the meantime, they would work with the city to develop a pre-annexation agreement and annexation implementation plan.

It would all begin with the filing of a formal ‘Notice of Intent to Annex,’ which is expected to happen later this spring or summer.

IF the annexation happens, it would take about three years to develop a land use plan; do environmental reviews; create a development agreement; and secure required engineering approvals.

After those steps were completed, phased-in home construction would start in 2021, with full build out estimated for 2030.

When dates are established for Community Meetings on the proposed Snoqualmie Hills Active Adult Development, we’ll keep you posted.

You can read our earlier story on this proposed development HERE

 

Snoqualmie Hills West UGA area in pink, site of proposed 800-home active adult community.

 

Comments

  1. Paul Johnson says

    I am one of six current residents and land owners (that I know of) that are not interested in the annexation or the development. We represent 30 acres of the more buildable land. We urge the city and other snoqualmie residents not to support annexation.

  2. Let me clarify before I continue, this has nothing to do with Danna. All she’s doing here is reporting……So many things were covered here. Unfortunately, what stood out was a council member asking if there were any “holdouts!” What? These are people with names. They have families and roots in the community, most I am sure were here before Snoqualmie City council members. So easy for others to make decisions for these homeowners. How would they feel if their homes were in jeopardy and the life they had known would be altered forever? That does not seem fair no matter how much money someone throws at them. And the amount they are offering pales in comparison to what they would make. I would suggest the 35 homeowners speak with an attorney. This sounds like it’s going to move a lot quicker then presented in the post. The other thing I noticed was the size of the single family homes., 2,000 to 3000 ft.²? How many older people want to downsize to that? It’s very obvious that it’s all about the money they can make, not about accommodating senior citizens.

    • Danna McCall says

      Hi Cameron,

      I wanted to clarify that the article states that Mr. Toft asked about holdouts in the context of what would happen if there were holdouts who did not want to sell. He was trying to understand what would happen to these people. He was not asking if there were holdouts in a sense of that they did not matter, how to make them sell etc. I will attempt to clarify that in the article.

  3. Paul, I support you and do not support annexation. Hopefully we are going to get a new Mayor and city council this fall – I am certainly voting against them. Time to put an end to Ridge Development run amok. Even King County says we are growing too fast, yet our Mayor persists…

  4. Hi Paul, I support you. We have a distribution group of residents (~60) who are opposed to the Snoqualmie Ridge hotel proposal, and many of them are also opposed to this annexation. It might be helpful to join the distribution group – we can share information as we are both up against the city council for final approval. Snoqualmie1st@gmail.com

  5. I lived in Anaheim, CA for about 10 years, which was a very aggressive city in terms of eminent domain. Anaheim has a lot of concrete and asphalt, and very little greenspace. I want a moratorium on development, this is just too much! The city council is not approachable while they have all of the power to make these life decisions that effect all residents – not just those who own the property. I hope the city council will have more compassion for these property owners than they did for the property owners across the street from the Snoqualmie Ridge hotel proposal.

  6. Hi Peggy, Please let us know more when you can about Snoqualmie1st.com. So good to know that you and other residents are watching out for our community. I do believe that the hotel snuck up on everybody, and that was purposeful. At the very least, there should’ve been a letter sent to every resident on the Ridge informing them. I don’t remember seeing an article with details of the proposed Hampton Inn, 2 years ago, giving us plenty of time to give our opinion. Again, that was their strategy. They are doing the same thing with this retirement community. I was reading an article the other day from the ROA Newsletter, it was outlining all the different ways this hotel will accommodate others. However, by doing so we are taking away from our community. I have personally spoken to several seasoned Real Estate Brokers that have said the feedback they are getting from clients is not good in regards to the Hampton Inn, and they are now rethinking moving to our area. They have some clients talking about selling now, due to the changes on the Ridge. How completely unfair that our property values may be affected by the choices the council members are making. It’s so disappointing, because it took the Ridge so long to recover from the recession. It was one of the areas hit the hardest on the east side. I’d like to know how many Council members plan on living here for 10 years? Are they going to make these decisions for us now, and move away in a few years? They are changing the landscape of our community forever with zero thought to the way others feel. Yes Peggy, we desperately need a building moratorium put in place. This is a turning point for Snoqualmie Ridge and it’s future.

    • Cameron, to your point – one of the city council members who voted for the hotel just left her position to live in Fall City. One of her last acts was approving the hotel. Interesting how far away she chose to live from the choice she made.

      • I guess I would say to that council woman, thanks for nothing. That is umfathomable. Information needs to be dispersed to every resident, so they are completely aware of everything in the works that we are privy to anyway.

        • Danna McCall says

          Peggy,

          Unless you know the reasons pertaining to Ms Patterson’s reasons for moving it is unfair to label insinuations for the reasons. I can tell you with certainty she did not move to get far away from the hotel she approved. I would encourage you, especially as a council candidate to make sure you share accurate information.

  7. Hi Cameron,
    August 1 we have a window of opportunity to vote in a new city council member and bring back a mayor that has a history of pushing back to developers, both support a moratorium.
    ==>Fuzzy Fletcher for mayor
    ==>Lesley Sheppard for city council https://www.snoqualmie1st.com/lesley .
    BY JULY 3rd REGISTER TO VOTE:
    Check to see if you are registered to vote before
    http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/sos/myvote.aspx
    Register to vote
    http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/register.aspx
    BY AUGUST 1 PRIMARY ELECTION DAY
    If you care about our community, please vote in the primary election for Fuzzy and Lesley.
    The only way we can make a change is to vote in new city council and mayor. There are candidates to oppose all incumbents in this elections, which hasn’t happened in several elections.

    • Danna McCall says

      Peggy, you realize Fuzzy was mayor when Snoqualmie Ridge division 2 was approved – and I believe on council when Snoqualmie Ridge division 1 was approved?

      • Danna, you are up early! Yes, I actually found a book that talks about the history of Snoqualmie Ridge and Fuzzy Fletcher “The New Economy of Nature The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable”, and it’s available from the King County online library:
        http://overdrive.downloads.kcls.org/ContentDetails.htm?ID=C3587D71-EFBF- 4E7D-A62E-0CD1A8C7765B
        I met Fuzzy this year, so I did a lot of googling and met with Fuzzy. I have also met quite a few loyal Fuzzy locals. The mayor before Fuzzy was a Weyerhauser employee. While Fuzzy was mayor, the Snoqualmie tribe was a newly recognized tribe.
        There was density swapping that happened in order to save the forested property above Snoqualmie Falls, known as Falls Crossing.
        Weyerhauser owns a lot of land and Snoqualmie being near I-90 is very desireable. City council back then annexed about 1,300 acres and agreed that Weyerhauser could build a planned community with 2,000 homes and a golf course.
        Original plans for the development were scaled down considerably following one of the most acrimonious debates in county history. Weyerhauser finally had to settle for a community about half the size of what it had hoped for with an agreement that Snoqualmie, King County, and the Weyerhauser would meet again in 2010 to reconsider expanding it.
        The potential expansion became known as the Joint Planning Area (JPA), and it seemed destined to remain widely unpopular.
        Fuzzy voiced his resistance in stronger terms, “Over my dead body” and “No way with the JPA”, because he didn’t want any more sprawl in Snoqualmie.
        Then Puget Western, a division of PSE began to plan to develop its Falls Crossing property, which was a tough problem for Fuzzy.
        The Falls Crossing backdrop was precious to Snoqualmie, with fir, hemlock and cedar forests. It’s an ancient site of the Snoqualmie Tribe, and lucrative because it provides the scenic setting for the star tourist attraction.
        Sensitive to these considerations, Puget Western had already delayed development since 1992 and in early 2000 planned for 370 homes which would be a dramatic change.
        Fuzzy had no legal way to stop it because the price was $13M, which was 4 times the city’s budget.
        So Fuzzy started talks with the Cascade Land Conservancy, and discussions eventually included Weyerhauser.
        The deal was bankrolled by Weyerhauser to buy the forest above the falls, the deal was complicated. Weyerhauser gave up development rights to two parcels: 2,800 acres of working forestland in the Raging River basin, on King County land a few miles away and another 600 acres traversing King County’s regional trail system. Weyerhauser also promised to pay $1M for a bridge connecting trails north of Snoqualmie Falls.
        Weyerhauser would get immediate permission to build 268 homes on Snoqualmie Ridge, and King County and Snoqualmie promised to speed up the Snoqualmie Ridge Expansion.
        Snoqualmie was a lot of history – very interesting.

        • Danna McCall says

          Yes – lots of history that I had heard about over my years here. So I will take that as a yes to my original question. While SR I was smaller than Weyerhaeuser wanted, division 2 came six years later and they got closer to the original plans. Fuzzy was mayor then. Developers will continue to pursue private land in our area because of growth. No mayor, councilmember is immune from having to deal with it. Unless the city can afford to buy that private land and keep it a forest (which they can’t in most cases), they have to balance property rights with development and when development does happen, make sure it fits into the city’s vision and standards. It is my understanding that about 70% of landowners of the Snoqualmie Hills area are interested in selling their land, which is their right. Property rights and development are tough to balance. It’s easy just to blame the council, mayor – but there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to development – and I am certain Fuzzy knows this more than anyone, as he has been through two major land annexations that made Snoqualmie one of the fastest growing city in Washington.

          • The Puget Sound Regional Commission (PSRC) sees the numerical growth targets for cities as ceilings but the cities, Mayor Larson is pressing for targets to be interpreted as floors, or minimums. The hammer wielded by PSRC was a threat of withheld federal transportation grant funds, which pass through the regional agency, to member cities.

            Letter to Dow Constantine from Matt Larson, fighting to not have any growth ceiling:
            http://thelens.news/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PSRC_City_Snoqualmie_Mayor_Letter.pdf

            The backers of the paradigm shift of goals being a minimum instead of a maximum are: Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington; Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, and Seattle King County Association of Realtors.

            http://thelens.news/2016/09/23/washington-state-lawmakers-get-an-earful-on-growth-management-act-reform/

            “study after study” has shown that dispersed low density development costs local government more in infrastructure and services than it returns to civic coffers via related taxes and fees.

            Another example: Lesley Sheppard found in Mark Hofman’s files for the Snoqualmie Ridge hotel an earlier proposal for the hotel, at 45′, and not 60′.

            Matt Larson said to the homeowner association that he admitted weren’t sent notices per the municipal code and won’t; that the buffer for the hotel site was used as a bargaining chip.

            At a PSRC meeting I asked the city attorney if he felt there should be any limit to growth for Snoqualmie, he grinned like that was a strange question – he said no.

            Houston, I think we have a problem.

          • Snoqualmie doesn’t have to be the fastest growing city, and I don’t see that as a goal. Issaquah has had a moratorium now for 18 months. North Bend had a moratorium for 10 years. I think its time for Snoqualmie to take a breather.

            • Danna McCall says

              It wasn’t the goal. It’s reality of the choice to approve both divisions of Snoqualmie Ridge – a master planned development. A moratorium does not stop development. Go look at all the projects not subject to Issaquah’s “moratorium”. Additionally, North Bend does not have a 10 year moratorium. They did a temporary moratorium to examine standards and zoning, but again, it won’t stop development as land owners have property rights to sell. ITs a balance. As for development in Snoqualmie Ridge which again is a master planned community, the developer has a legal right to finish land parcels. The pace of development today is nothing compared to 10-12 years ago.

    • Thanks Peggy for the info. My husband and I will vote for sure. So much is at stake in Snoqualmie. I don’t think there is a voice representing us currently on the city council. Without saying it, I’m sure you’re aware of what can go on between developers and city councils. No doubt with the recent choices made they resemble a runaway train.

  8. Paul Johnson says

    A few more thoughts about the proposed 800 units of 55+ residents. …
    1. The proposed home prices, between .5 and1.5 million will result in all the new residents coming from outside our area.
    2. The traffic will become horrendous! I don’t know many 55 year-olds that can afford to retire; most will be working and add to the commuter traffic.
    3.Don’t be fooled by talk of a imminent 18/90 interchange solution. The current proposal, if approved, is simply a short term modification to help deal with the additional 4000 families from the black diamond development. The longer term fix would be 10 years or more away, and not even proposed or designed yet.

    Paul Johnson

    • Paul, I agree. Yesterday Lesley Sheppard (running for city council – please vote in the primary election!), and I reviewed the traffic studies done for the ridge hotel. The turn right into the drive, and turn right out will cause those vehicles trying to get to I-90 to make a u-turn at Fairway.
      The traffic study does not take into account that the intersection of Snoqualmie Parkway and Fairway is not designed to accommodate a u-turn; and doesn’t show any projections for u-turns. Based on that from my lack of traffic study expertise; it seems that the traffic study probably needs to be reviewed for at least that scenario.
      The traffic study is a very important piece of the consideration of whether more development should happen – along with do we have enough water, etc.

      • We’ve been told by experienced realtors of Snoqualmie Ridge that there was no more building planned regarding single family residential homes. They said the only land left is where a school may be erected. If they decide not to build the school then that will be the last area to build homes. Are they saying now that there are plans for more land to be developed on the Ridge besides what we know of? If so, I feel very misled, because my husband and I were told that the Ridge was not like the Sammamish Plateau where they had more area that they could continue to develop and have. Anybody know? Thanks.

        • Danna McCall says

          The land you are referring to is between Silent Creek and the Heights neighborhoods. It was given to the district for the purpose of a second high school. It’s not suitable for a high school they discovered, though. We tried a bond twice to build a middle school There but it failed. The potential sale of this land was detailed the SR 1 development agreement The school district was given the right to sell the land after 2015 IF they choose to do so. I have been told many times by the school district that they don’t plan to sell it. Land is hard to come by for school districts which is why they don’t sell very often.

      • Danna McCall says

        There were two entrance to the hotel parking lot in the designs from what I recall. Those needing to head toward I-90 would use the exit/entrance onto Center Street and take a left onto the Parkway. If a u-turn is allowed and accomdated at Snoqualmie Parkway and Better Way and the road is exactly the same it would stand to reason the road could also accommodate a U-turn at Fairway?

    • You are correct Paul. It would be unaffordable housing for seniors. However, they had no problem approving the building of a motel that will be placed in the middle of the Ridge that will offer cheaper rooms to accommodate I-90 passerbys. This ugly motel will go down in history, and the mayor and city council will be remembered, each and every one of them for their part in this. I have no confidence in the mayor and council members because of what they have done up to this point. The planning is poor, and there must be very little experience amongst them. I think it required more research and studies of other communities in other states that are successfully planned . Again, everyone must know these decisions will eventually cause a decline in home values. Are all of you OK with that? They have no right to jeopardize our investments. The Ridge was one area on the east side that people still felt a sense of rural community. That is changing now forever, not because we asked for it, but due to people who got together in a room and made that decision for us. We feel as if we have no voice whatsoever about our community. Other than Brad Toft, do any other council members ever reply to us on Living Snoqualmie? Or do they just hide behind their computers? Very disappointing.

  9. I’m a 55+ person. I moved to Snoqualmie rather than Trilogy
    or other senior housing areas because I wanted to enjoy
    the mix of families with children. I would not like to see Snoqualmie
    turned into a retirement-living destination with so many more homes
    for seniors. I would hope Snoqualmie didn’t lose it’s
    vibrancy and family-friendly vision. Also, when there are working
    families with children, there is support and funding for
    schools, parks, and recreation centers.

    • Hi Karen,
      While this would not be a pro or con to the community, but more of an that’s interesting….
      I have a friend who lives in a 55+ community – which she likes in southern California. I didn’t realize that there are some limitations to living in those communities – if you are married to someone who is under 55 and you pass on; the surviving spouse cannot continue to live in the community. If you become the custodial guardian of grandchildren, then you can’t live there. You are allowed to have an under 55 caregiver.
      Generally homes in these communities are more affordable, however most grandparents that I know are very connected to their grandchildren, so I don’t know if the community would be open to grandparents who care for grandchildren in their home on a regular basis – what those rules might look like.
      The up side for my friend is that she enjoys going to restaurants, and they have a very nice restaurant that is positioned close to her community and is marketed for their generation.

  10. I agree with Peggy. Please slow your roll Snoqualmie. And now with the news that Kirkland bought up snoqualmie waterfront and is building out Sandy cove. Please don’t ruin Snoqualmie!!!

  11. The May 27 comment posted above is incomplete, and does not accurately recount my remarks. During a conversation a few months ago on the sidelines at a recent Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) meeting, I was asked about growth limits for Snoqualmie, I did NOT say that there shouldn’t be any limits. I DID say that the PSRC should not set any limit for growth for Snoqualmie, because the PSRC does not have the legal authority to do so. Under our state’s Growth Management Act, the legal authority set growth limits for Snoqualmie rests with the elected Snoqualmie City Council, and not members of an unelected regional body like PSRC. To this point, PSRC’s own regional planning document, titled “VISION 2040” recognizes that its growth targets are minimums, and not “ceilings” or limits on city growth. VISION 2040 states, at page 47, that “a growth target is the minimum number of residents (or, in the case of employment, the minimum number of jobs) a given jurisdiction is expected to accommodate by a given year.” My answer to the question about growth limits focused on what body has the authority to set those limits. The answer, legally speaking, is “the City Council, not PSRC.”
    Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

    Sincerely,

    Bob C. Sterbank
    Snoqualmie City Attorney

  12. I’m beginning to feel like we may need another group to post our thoughts, support and ideas.

    • Not a done deal??????
      DEVELOPER TO FILE FOR ANNEXATION THIS WEEK!!
      snoqualmie1st@gmail.com to get updates.

      • Danna McCall says

        I believe what they will file for shortly – that they have been openly saying will be coming this spring – is a “notice of intent to annex.”The city council then has 60 days to hold public meetings and then vote if they can proceed. IF that vote is yes (after the 60 days), then a pre annexation and implementation plan can be developed. Then that plan would have to be voted on again by the city council in order for the annexation to move forward. What is happening currently is not a vote to annex – that decision, if it even gets that far, is likely a year away. If the annexation does occur, the development has many, many years of planning and public hearings before any homes could ever be built. It was estimated a first home wouldn’t even be constructed until 2021, with the phased in development scheduled to be finished in 2030. Point of clarification as some misinformation is rumored to be circulating. These developers have stated the development they are proposing is 800-unit age restricted (55+) with mix of single family homes, townhomes, and condos so as to vary in size and price point. It has been shared that they are also proposing 400 apartments over retail. That was an idea for 35 acres of the involved land, but the developer stated what goes on those acres would be determined by city and community needs. They have stated the 800 age restricted units is what is required to make their project viable and the rest of the project is flexible and to be determined. According to the developer, a large majority of the landowners have signed contracts stating intent to sell their land. I have been told a couple of 5-acre parcels will not sell so the development and its roads would be designed around those properties IF it moves forward.

  13. My understanding is that the 800 homes which range from 2,000 to 3,000 sq. feet are NOT going to be designated as 55 and older and anyone can purchase these homes. Of course you must read and find the fine print to discover this fact. Only the 400 unit assisted living project would be deemed 55 and older. I personally believe we need an assisted living facility for our aging residents and parents. Yet with a lack of water and sewer capacity available the 800 homes are questionable at best. The main entrance for this project is at the Fisher Avenue intersection near Fisher park (aka; Seahawk Park) and is dangerous. I attended last night Parks and Public Works meeting and confirmed our city is continuing it’s plan to install a single hawk crosswalk with no traffic signal at this four way intersection. The Ironwood developer gave the city $104,000 over eleven years ago to install a traffic signal at Fisher and the developer installed underground infrastructure at their expense. The city does not dispute this fact and many have documents and receipts to prove this. However, our city leaders have not followed through with there earlier demand to the developer to install a traffic signal at this dangerous intersection. This is the only four way intersection on the Snoqualmie Parkway that does not have a traffic signal. Residents and park visitors have difficulty merging safely onto the parkway in vehicles. I expressed these concerns to the Public Works Commission last night and have attend dozens of city meeting with other residents expressing concern for years. Originally the city told residents they did not have the money to install a traffic signal and put the job out to bid. Now they claim the traffic signal is not needed which is ridiculous especially considering future growth planned. My concerns were demeaned at last nights meeting as usual in addition to a simple request to remove two bushes blocking visibility of a crosswalk on the Ironwood center divide of Fisher. It was confirmed that the city will not remove the bushes, despite a bicyclists being hit by a car in the crosswalk and is still recovering from longtime injuries. Nor will the traffic signal be installed as originally deemed necessary by our City Manager Bob Larson as written in a letter to the developer approximately 11 years ago. Despite cost, the city now sites a traffic survey which was conducted on an unusual snowy and rainy day in February when school was not in session as the cause for no traffic light. I have presented past police reports of several vehicle and pedestrian accidents that have already occurred at this busy intersection over the past few years. The most recent accident was two teenagers, whereas one car impacted the drivers door of another car traveling down the parkway. Both car spun out of control barley missing an elementary student on the sidewalk and both cars were totaled. Visibility was poor and both students were headed to high school in the morning last February. Our city leaders would rather ignore what dozens of residents have requested for better visibility and safety then remove two bushes. Fisher Ave residents have been making this request going on three years. Now the city wants to spend our tax dollars to install an estimated $267,000.00 hawk crosswalk at the opposite side of the intersection where infrastructure is already in place. Only to later have to remove the crosswalk and install a traffic signal at this intersection as originally planned. Does this make financial sense? This development will make Fisher Ave. one of the busiest intersections on the parkway not to mention many senior drivers. I expressed these cost concerns as well as vehicle and pedestrian safety concerns last night which fell upon deaf ears. This is why I support Snoqualmie First and I am running for city council. I believe citizens need fair representation and a common sense approach to fiscal issues and future impacts. Vote for Monica Lowney on November 7th and Lesley Sheppard on August 1st and November 7th for city council as well as other Snoqualmie First members. Citizens need fair representation for their taxation. Thank you! Please visit http://www.snoqualmie1st.com

    • Danna McCall says

      According to the development group, it is 800 Single-family homes, condos, and townhomes, which will range in size from 800 sq ft to 3,000 square feet that are age restricted. This is directly from the development group via written materials and verbally during an interview. It is on the material being disseminated. I would encourage you to sit down with the development group and ask your questions. They are forthcoming with the project details. The city has stated this UGA area (Snoqualmie Hills West) should not be developed with housing that would pressure schools or peak hour commutes, which is why age restricted is being presented – as I was told during the interview. The usage of remaining 35-40 acres, per the development group, can be determined as the process moves along – IF it moves along. At this point it has NOT been decided what those 35-40 acres would be. In the past an assisted living facility is something the city has stated needing, as well as more affordable housing options. The key point is, nothing except 800 age qualified housing units is what is set in stone in the proposal. The road connection points still are not set in stone either, only conceptual at this point. Again, I would encourage you to reach out to the development group so that accurate information can be disseminated to the public and to voters.

  14. This development is not in the best interest of the community. The plan forces the 35 land owners to make a tough decision… sell their land to the developer or be walled in by development. The plan does nothing to improve the quality of life to residents that cannot or will not sell out. “Sell your land or we will build around you.” It does nothing to improve or maintain water quality in the sensitive wetland areas to the south of the proposed annexation area. The area is an easy mark for developers because of it’s geographical location but another major master-planned community in the Snoqualmie Valley isn’t wanted by anyone that won’t plan on profiting from it.

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