City moves ahead on downtown plan Details narrow in master design

The city of Snoqualmie is getting down to the nuts and bolts of the new downtown master plan.

Master plan consultant Tom Beckwith gave residents a detailed overview of sign and design standards at the latest open house, held Tuesday, Aug. 12, at the Snoqualmie Fire Station.

The Snoqualmie City Council is expected to start considering ordinances, forwarded by the Snoqualmie Planning Commission, for approval this fall. There will be more public hearing opportunities on the new rules at that time.

“Now, we’re going to be narrowing it down a bit, getting more specific,” said Snoqualmie Planning Director Nancy Tucker.

The goal for design standards is to ensure that new development downtown “is in keeping with the scale and character of historic buildings,” Tucker said. “The idea is, we don’t try to build ‘fake’ new historic buildings.”

The city has also met with the Washington Department of Transportation on proposed changes to State Route 202. The proposed master plan would create angled parking on the west side of the street, and Snoqualmie will hand off design work to a consultant, KPG of Seattle, to pursue those changes. The city is seeking an additional grant to fund improvements and changes to the east side of the street, fronting the Northwest Railway Museum.

Beckwith’s talk included dozens of examples of the kinds of signs the city could allow.

Churches and schools, for example, are allowed to use tall, readerboard style signs, while Beckwith discussed awning, wall-mounted and blade-style signs for businesses.

“Here, we have so much wind,” said Snoqualmie resident James Elliott, pointing out the blade signs, which hang from awnings. The sign, he said, could blow and hurt someone.

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