‘Snoqualmie Needs Affordable Housing’ | Imagine Housing to [Finally] Build 160-180 Unit, Affordable Housing Community

It’s been over four years since Imagine Housing and the City of Snoqualmie began collaborative efforts to develop a land parcel (S-20) within the Eagle Pointe neighborhood of Snoqualmie Ridge into affordable housing for the area.

In February 2014, the plans were put on hold indefinitely when financing for the project could not be secured. Since then the city, the owner of the land parcel and Imagine Housing worked to address the challenges of developing the project on land designated as the site of affordable housing in order to meet requirements of the Snoqualmie Ridge II Mixed Use Final Plan. [That Mixed Use plans legally requires affordable housing be incorporated into the second division of the Snoqualmie Ridge master-planned development, which is close to build out.]

It took over four years, but it appears Imagine Housing is finally ready to build affordable housing in Snoqualmie, which Mayor Matt Larson, other city officials, and many area residents say is greatly needed – especially as home prices and rents climb on the Eastside and in the Snoqualmie Valley.

Via email Sibyl Glasby, Imagine Houseing Director of Housing Development, said their new Snoqualmie development “is a desperately needed, multi-family community that will be permanently affordable.”

She said Imagine Housing, a Kirkland-based nonprofit that has been building affordable housing on the Eastside for almost 30 years, strives to create “communities that are attractive, professionally managed and maintained to be long-term community assets.”

The planned Snoqualmie community will have 160-180 affordable apartments and 14 market rate, for sale homes built by a “quality homebuilder” on the 13.6 acre land parcel located at the end of Frontier Ave, between Eagle Pointe and the new Snoqualmie Valley Hospital.

Glasby said the development will be “architecturally integrated into the surroundings and also [be] modern and attractive.” The one, two and three bedroom units will be restricted (primarily) to households earning no more than 60% of Area Median Income (AMI), which is $90,300 in King County. So for a four person household, that 60% of AMI comes out to around $38,000 annual income for an individual and $54,200 for a family of four.

Glasby added that if resources are available, 5-10 units could be for individuals and families earning 80% of AMI and 5-10 units restricted at 50% AMI.  In Snoqualmie, the AMI is $130,000.

Rent at the proposed Snoqualmie community is estimated to range from approximately $900 – $1,300 per month for the one, two and three bedroom apartments. According to Imagine Housing, in 2015 area market rate rental properties ranged from nearly $1,500/ month for a one-bedroom up to $2,150/month for a three-bedroom.

average rent

‘Snoqualmie Needs Affordable Housing’

Glasby said their research shows Snoqualmie has an influx of employees who work in the area, but live elsewhere (often quite far away) due to housing affordability issues. She pointed to many local jobs that pay the 60% AMI threshold needed to qualify for Imagine Housing’s new community, including many teaching and teaching assistant positions, restaurant jobs, staff and nursing assistant positions, maintenance jobs – and even seniors on fixed incomes.

Glasby added, “These are working people who often have families to take care of…who are extremely important to the local economy of Snoqualmie.”

Imagine Housing flyer depicting the need for affordable housing in the Snoqualmie area
Imagine Housing flyer depicting the need for affordable housing in the Snoqualmie area

Construction Timeframe

Imagine Housing plans to begin construction on its Snoqualmie community in the summer of 2017 and lease apartments in the fall of 2018.

The planned development will have five 4-story and 5-story buildings, each with between 30-48 units, as well as outdoor recreation areas and shared community rooms and decks built over a parking area. The 12-14 market rate single family homes are proposed to be constructed between current Eagle Pointe homes and the apartment buildings.


IMagine Housing S-20



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  • This is crap we do not want this here. Who gave you Mr Mayor the authority to give this the go ahead.
    We have invested our hard earned money into our homes we do not want what happened in Tallas to happen here.

    1. Maureen, perhaps you cannot read, but affordable housing is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT of the Snoqualmie Ridge II Mixed Use Plan. (See article above.) And perhaps the folks who provide you with goods and services would like to live near the community in which they work. And maybe they even aspire to live in the non-subsidized part of the Ridge someday. Although why they’d want you as a neighbor is a mystery to me.

      1. Kim Smith, well stated and correct! As for Maureen Lock she sounds bitter and unhappy. I have lived 65 yrs in the Snoqualmie Valley and what if I had felt the way she does about “new residents” moving in:? I would be one sorry individual and thankfully I’m not. I choose to be kind and accepting of all people and not just the elite and self-entitled persons like Ms. Lock. These new residents may be without shelter now and having their own home is the right thing to do.

      2. Kim,the original Snoqualmie Ridge II Mixed Use Plan had the affordable housing homes dispersed in several parcels. In 2009 the City through a “Minor Modifications” process approved the consolidation of all the requirements in the parcel S 20,where I Housing is now projecting the 160-180 homes.The beneficiaries of the 2009 change were the developers..Pulte bought the land without any Aff Housing requirement as per the Minor Modifications approval. .

    2. Did you even read the article? It’s a legal requirement to build these houses. People should be able to afford to live somewhat close to where they work. I personally hate the idea of homeless kids in our district. Honestly, maybe you should leave of it bothers you so much, we could do with less snobs for sure

  • What about the traffic issues it will bring!?? Getting into the lane to get into I90 in the morning to go to work is crazy long. Where will residents from this new community go to get into I90?

    1. The real traffic problems will come in the neighborhood next to this development. The neighborhood streets aren’t wider than normal and the amount of traffic this development will add to them will be large. Jacobia and the Parkway will probably be OK, it’s Frontier, which has driveways opening onto it, that will be a large concern. Cars from 180 +- new families will create a large increase for that little street.

      The map does have an indication there will be a connection to the Hospital property, so perhaps some of that traffic will go that way instead of on Frontier?

  • The connection to the Hospital is an emergency road not open to traffic..Unfortunately all the cars will have to go through Frontier.As you noted the streets are not wider as others on the Ridge,particularly the intersection of Frontier and Jacobia which is 2-4 ft short of similar intersections.. Another potential issue is that if parking space is short within the new complex cars will park on Frontier,or Ash Ave or Elm St.

  • I simply question the size of the community, 160 – 180 units + 14 homes will create a traffic nightmare. And if you remember the 1st go around on this project they had trouble getting financing originally, they wanted to get several exemptions for building codes (still not sure if those are on the table), 10 year property tax exemption and exemptions from ROA dues. Keep in mind the individuals living in the existing low income housing on the Ridge are not exempt to any of the previously mentioned issues…

  • This is great news! We all need safe, suitable places to live – low and moderate income families are no different. There is also a lot of literature out there that outlines how it’s not just low and moderate income families who benefit from affordable housing, but also the community at large in that there is an increase in spending and employment in the surrounding economy and it’s a source of revenue for the local government. Affordable housing in my neighborhood does not take away from anything that I have earned, in fact I say it improves upon it. Great news, I say welcome!

    1. Jamie,the point is if such density in one parcel is better than the original dispersed model.
      As per Quadrant’s request the City approved the Minor modifications in a rush under the assumption of “economies of Scale” for such consolidation .Several attemps from I Housing to get the proper financing indicates it was the wrong assumption.We will end up paying for that poor assessment while the developers involved got the benefits of the SR II MUP change.

  • What great points you are bring! I sure hope some higher level people read them and try to work to prvenet so e of the issues discussed here!!

  • I wonder if the mayor lives around here? Wouldn’t any of these issues affect him or his family memebers! Traffic, school overpopulation (new school was needed for a reason!), taxes, are important to us the residents!

  • What great points you are all making! Yes, affordable housing, no to a few filling their pockets, and certainly NO to more traffic and taxes!

  • What about construction traffic? It will bring more delays to already clogged I90 entrance not to mention to the eagle rigde community!

  • Great news for those who need affordable housing. We live in a beautiful community. But this is certainly horrible news to rsidents who already pay high taxes, have kids crammed in schools, and have to endure horrible morning traffic to get to the highway!

  • Many Problems with this plan. Why do you think it took them so long to get approved? The residents had a chance to speak their minds about the different issues but we were not heard. Such a shame.

  • Having participated in several petitions on the Ridge, I agree that we are ignored. I would vote to dump our Mayor and city planner. They seem to think decisions made years ago when the city was a fraction of the size should not be open to modification based on the needs of the new, much larger, electorate. Do not get me started on the community being developed adjacent to Snoqualmie Falls – why would any of us want that?

  • so is there a law in place that will keep these prices at an “affordable” amount? i feel like with supply and demand what is to prevent the price from just slowly rising to no longer be “affordable”

  • I am a real estate appraiser and there are differing rules regarding what you are able to sell these “affordable” homes for. Sometimes it is a percentage increase per year and sometimes it is tied to an income level. Either way it keeps the prices “affordable” after the first owner. There are units like this in the Issaquah Highlands that have these rules in place when one is transferred.

    1. but it still sounds like slowly but surely every year prices could rise until they are no longer deemed affordable. at least it seems like that is what is happening with the echo ridge apartments.

  • $900 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment is not affordable housing for senior citizens when the average Social Security check is $1200 per month. If they are going to put all that effort into affordable housing, then make it really affordable for the elderly.

  • Here comes the traffic jams. Snoqualmie is going to look like issaquah in no time, we just need fast food restaurants. Oh wait, those are coming too.

  • What would be wrong with rezoning the lots by the new shopping center on Douglas so there is the potential for renters to walk to the shopping center close to home? Does that make too much sense?

  • The primary issue for me is not the fact affordable housing is going in, it is the decision to put 180 units on one parcel with the only access to the development via a two, maybe three block street lined with homes. Traffic nightmare in the making, I don’t care what the city says to the contrary. It should have its own access to the parkway and should not be crammed onto one parcel.. It also looks like we are back to some 5 story buildings, (at one point based on community input it was scaled back to 4 stories). Has anyone seen the enormous montrasity being built on Gilman Blvd. in Issaquah..welcome to Snoqualmie. It is sickening that the city can make such a huge change via a “minor modification”, shifting the location all into one parcel. Stop quilting us with the reasons we need affordable housing, we understand the need, what we do not understand is the decision to cram it all onto one parcel with no direct access to the parkway.

    1. Amelia,you are absolutely correct in all your points.Let me add a few along the same lines:(I) the Snoq Ridge II plan requires only 122 units to comply (ii) In East King County the average size for affordable Housing is less than 50 units per location that proves that 180 is way beyond anything known.(iii) Adding 180 units will put Snoq ratio of low income units to city population about 3X what we have at the East County level.

  • Most of us at the bottom of the hill didn’t want you, either. You bought into the monster that is Snoqualmie Ridge, and you’re also the ones that elected Larson. Quit your belly achin’ and learn to live with what you helped create.

  • The city authorities ( Council & Mayor) approved the minor modifications.. Quadrant,Pulte,Murray F were the ones that got the benefits of changing to a consolidated model for affordable housing. Due to a lack of transparency from the City ,both buyers and residents were ignored for a few years given the developers enough time to sell without the knowledge that 160/180 affordable housing units will be in parcel S20. Traffic problem has been ignored and there is no short term solution for that.The hospital deal was done at the same time and there is no way to get through that route so all the traffic (including construction time) will go through Frontier..Affordable to Housing is needed but the ones paying all the costs for it are Eagle Pointe resident owners now..There will be great speeches from the Mayor and I Housing in the coming days , and most likely they will ignore the facts..

  • Living Snoqualmie