There was some small movement last week as the City of Snoqualmie inches toward bringing a required affordable housing development to the area – something it has been trying to do for nearly five years.
In a land use application submitted in May, Panorama Apartments, LLC (a subsidiary of DevCo which built Discovery Heights in the Issaquah Highlands) requested some minor modifications in order to construct a 191-unit multi-family apartment complex in the Eagle Pointe neighborhood of Snoqualmie Ridge.
Two of those minor modification requests were signed off on last week by City of Snoqualmie Community Development Director Mark Hofman and the Community Development Council Committee Chair: 1) the Minor Modification to establish net developable acreage and 2) a Wall Height Waiver to increase retaining wall heights above six feet on the sloped site.
The City of Snoqualmie published a Notice of Decision announcement on September 29th stating the administrative modification requests had been approved. Community members now have two weeks to file an appeal.
Hofman said via email that he would be surprised if the city did not receive an appeal about the modifications approval, but said that no one had inquired yet about the appeals process.
In the past, many residents of the Eagle Pointe neighborhood have been opposed to the location of a large apartment complex in the quiet, mostly single-family home area.
Hearing Examiner, Consistency Review still Needed
Before the affordable housing project can begin construction, it will also need a Mixed Use Consistency Review and a Hearing Examiner approval of a Conditional Use Permit to allow four-story building heights.
Hofman said via email that the Hearing Examiner meeting date had not been set yet. He said they hoped to know in about two weeks when it will occur.
If the city does receive an appeal on the recent modification approvals, that appeal hearing will happen during the Hearing Examiner meeting, with the Mixed Use Consistency Review occurring after that meeting.
Proposed Panorama Apartments Affordable Housing Project
The 191-unit apartment complex would be located on land parcel S-20 of Snoqualmie Ridge, downhill from an adjoining Eagle Pointe neighborhood and near the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital. The city council designated the parcel to hold affordable housing a few years ago.
According to the city, the land parcel cannot be used for other purposes due to a 25-year covenant recorded against the property’s title, which limits the parcel’s uses to affordable, multi-family rental apartment housing.
Once built the project will fulfill the affordable housing program requirements for the Snoqualmie Ridge II master-planned community.
According to Hofman, at this point in the project, the developer intends to have all 191 units available to people whose income is below the 60% AMI (Area Median Income) level.
In 2017 the King County region AMI for a family of four was set at $96,000 – meaning a family of four with a household annual income of $57,600 or less would qualify for the proposed project. [That AMI could increase in coming years, though.]
Median income guidelines are determined by household size and adjusted annually when the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determines the AMI for all metropolitan regions in the country.
For more information visit the city’s Affordable Housing in Snoqualmie website page.