Second Meeting on Snoqualmie Low-Income Housing Development Tonight; Permit Application Planned for Early Spring

imaginehousing02/20/13For residents who missed Eastside non-profit housing developer, Imagine Housing’s, first public outreach meeting regarding their proposed 160-unit low-income housing project, Timber Falls, slated for Snoqualmie’s Eagle Pointe neighborhood – tonight, February 20, 2013, is your backup opportunity.

The meeting happens at 7PM at Snoqualmie City Hall.  According to Imagine Housing officials, tonight’s meeting will be similar to the first one held January 23rd.

A 20-minute background presentation on project will be given and then community members have a chance to visit different stations to learn about individual aspects of the planned housing development, including  financials, the project market study, apartment floor plans and schematic drawings.  Those stations serve as places to gather information and provide input.

Based on public input received last summer, Imagine Housing reduced the proposed 5-story complex to 4-stories and added a new complex of townhomes to maintain the development’s 160-unit size.

Imagine Housing also presented their latest plans to the Snoqualmie City Council during their annual retreat on January 29-30th.  According to Ann Levine, Imagine Housing Executive Director, “The presentation went well and we received good questions and feedback from the City Council.”

After tonight’s meeting, Imagine Housing will work to improve the project based on community and council input, with a goal of filing a city permit application by late March or early April 2013.

Levine estimated project permits for clearing, grading and utilities for land parcel S20 could potentially be available in October 2013.  She said construction groundbreaking was dependent on the weather.  Imagine Housing will most likely file the permit application before Snoqualmie City Council has decided whether to grant the project land tax exemption and/or permit fee waivers.

Levine commented, “The multifamily tax exemption is an important component of the project’s financing, but it does not need to be completed in order for our organization to file our permit applications and start getting good input from City staff on the proposed project through the permit review process.”

When asked about a timeline for Imagine Housing formally requesting tax exemption for the development’s land, Councilwoman Maria Henriksen answered, “We have no estimated date as to when that might come forward.  If Imagine [Housing] does make a formal request, the matter would go through a council committee and then be forwarded to the full council for consideration.  There would be opportunity for public comment before any vote of the council.”

Henriksen explained that Imagine Housing runs the risk of being responsible for building permit fees if their request for fee waivers is declined by the city council.  Imagine Housing can, though, apply before their request comes before the council.

Imagine Housing stated last month that it still plans to ask for the tax exemption, but was analyzing its ability to proceed with the project without the exemption.

Imagine Housing’s 2nd Public Outreach Meeting is February 20, 2013 at Snoqualmie City Hall, 38624 SE River Street from 7-9PM.

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