During a special September 27th city council meeting called by Mayor Larson approximately 24 hours prior, the council, by a 5-1 vote, approved extending the closing date for the sale of the city-owned King Street lot by 60 days – until November 30th. Councilmember Shepard, who is opposed the development, voted no. Councilmember Holloway was absent.
The lot is being sold to King Street Properties, LLC with plans to develop a two-story building that would house growing Sigillo Cellars wine-making operations and also include a restaurant and a boutique hotel with an estimated 12 rooms.
Mayor Larson explained at the beginning of the meeting that the extension was not being requested by the developers whose last extension – given while the city council deliberated updating the building height limits for the historic downtown zoning area – was set to expire on September 30th. This is the third extension granted for the lot sale.
Larson explained that after meeting with the Sigillo owners earlier in the week to determine if they were planning to execute the purchase, he found they had ‘consternation’ about going back and re-evaluating building plans to see if they would work with the council’s newly approved height ordinance of 35 feet without flood height allowances. According to a letter read to council from the developers, they were considering whether to move forward with the project.
Larson said knowing that the the King Street lot development was a ‘pretty serious financial commitment to the community’ and sensing the Seals (Sigillo owners) felt very pressed to close by September 30th, he decided to call a special meeting and request the closing extension. After informing the Seals that he had called the special meeting, he received a request from them for a 60-day extension.
Councilmembers Jeans, Lasse, Ross, Sundwall all expressed support for the project. Councilmember Jeans spoke to his support for the project, but opposition to issuing more extensions. He ended up voting for the extension, though. Councilmember Shepard maintained the King Street lot was better served as needed parking for downtown businesses. She cited a lack of off street parking and the King Street lot’s close proximity to businesses.
Councilmember Sundwall called the development “vital to the economic vitality of downtown and the city as a whole.” He said he believed it was fair to grant an extension and allow the local developers more time to “to determine whether their multi-million dollar investment is still viable” under the council’s new adopted downtown height regulations.
According to a city news release, “to move forward with the potential development, Sigillo Cellars will research the viability of adjusting the height and interior layout of the building to fit within the current 35-foot height requirements for Historic District of downtown Snoqualmie.”
The city said following closing on the property, Sigillo Cellars would need to complete and submit detailed architectural plans and apply for permits, including Historical Design Review Board approval and a building permit.
Per the news release: “The development plans align with the City’s desire for a development that will include high-quality and appropriate design complementary to the site’s relationship with the downtown Historic District, Northwest Railway Museum, Snoqualmie Depot, Railroad Park, the Snoqualmie River, and Sandy Cove Park on the banks of the river.”