North Bend approves development changes

NORTH BEND - The City Council has passed a set of Comprehensive Plan amendments it says will help maintain the rural look of the area for years to come. But at least two longtime residents say the new codes will make it virtually impossible to build in the area, which in the long run will have a devastating economic effect on the city.

The six comprehensive code amendments, approved at the Nov. 5 Council meeting, are aimed at protecting sensitive areas such as streams, wetlands and agriculture, and creating a balance between commercial and residential development. New changes will find the city working to create a mixed-use area where commercial and residential development can exist without inconveniencing each other.

According to North Bend Associate Planner Steve Buske, part of the impetus behind the changes stems from a 1999 community survey in which residents said maintaining the rural setting of North Bend was of high importance.

At last week's meeting, Councilman Jack Webber praised the Planning Commission for its diligent work on the amendments. Webber said the plan is an excellent example of "smart growth" and touted the ordinances for promoting a pedestrian-friendly environment and creating a "fluid avenue and pathway" between North Bend and Snoqualmie while managing to separate the communities.

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