City surprised by Puget Western request
October 2, 2008 · Updated 2:28 PM
SNOQUALMIE _ Puget Western Inc. President Bob Boyd took
the Snoqualmie City Council by surprise Nov.13 when he told council
members they must make a decision on the developer's Falls Crossing
application by the first of the year or risk losing
a potential sale of part of the property to a conservation group.
"The intent of this option is to provide an opportunity over a
reasonable period of time for conservancy groups to preserve additional portions of
the Falls Crossing site as natural timbered open space, through purchases of
designated parcels," Boyd said in a written statement to the council.
Following Boyd's remarks, the council adjourned briefly to
consult with city staff. On reconvening, the panel did not address the request.
"(The remarks) came as a surprise in the first place," said City
Attorney Pat Anderson, "and secondly, it was
a surprise that there is a time limit attached. We haven't addressed the
issue internally yet. If they come to us with something specific, we
will evaluate it at that time."
Also unclear is whether any major change in the plan would
require that the matter be sent back to the Planning Commission.
"We don't know what impact this kind of change would have on the
process. We will look into that as more specific information becomes
available," Anderson said.
Boyd's written statement did not name any potential buyers, nor
was there mention of how much of the property might be involved.
However, Boyd did say that PWI would seek concessions from the city, adding
another element of change to the proposal.
"We believe this option will be very desirable to the city,
however some accommodations to Puget Western are necessary to make it
feasible," Boyd wrote. "First, we are asking
the City Council to expedite processing our mixed-use final plan
application. We will also be seeking some reasonable alterations in certain
conditions of approval to offset some of the financial impact of removing
additional land from development."
Boyd did not indicate what changes or accommodations would
"The amount of land involved is to be determined by the buyer,"
Boyd told the Valley Record. "There is a series of meetings set up and
that's what we're trying to get to."
A spokesperson for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust said the
organization is not involved in the negotiations.
PWI has not said whether they are seeking City Council approval of
the project before details of a potential sale are disclosed or specifically
why the time limit has been imposed.
"Puget Western has made it very clear to conservancy groups that
our incentive to reach a voluntary agreement will be greatly diminished
after year-end 2000," Boyd wrote. "We
are not asking the City Council to rush to judgment, but we are asking for
additional meetings to be scheduled on the mixed-use final plan application so
a decision can be made by year-end."
The City Council has not taken action on the request for
additional meetings, but prior to Boyd's remarks, it agreed to begin regular
discussions about the Falls Crossing proposal at 6 p.m. before council meetings. The
next meeting is Nov. 27.