Falls Crossing vote expected

SNOQUALMIE_The Snoqualmie Planning Commission was

expected to vote this week on the Falls Crossing Mixed-Use application, a

182-acre housing and retail development proposed by Puget Western Inc. (PWI).

Located on Snoqualmie Parkway, the development has been the

subject of continuing controversy because of its proximity to Snoqualmie Falls.

The Tuesday meeting of the planning commission was held after the

Valley Record went to press.

On June 19, the Planning Commission voted to direct city staff to

prepare a document recommending approval of the project with specific

findings and conditions attached. The conditions are crafted to address

concerns about increased traffic and mitigate impacts to the environment. The

panel completed a review and made final revisions to the findings and

conditions on Aug. 21.

Following the expected vote, the Planning Commission's

recommendation, along with the public comments, expert testimony, study results

and other data, will be passed on to the City Council for review. The council

will have 90 days to either accept the Planning Commission's

recommendation or deny the application.

As the proposal works its way through the approval process,

the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, a non-profit organization that

facilitates purchase of privately held land to public ownership along the

Interstate 90 corridor, is continuing efforts to secure at least a portion of the

Falls Crossing land.

"This property is a very important asset," said Nancy Keith,

executive director of the Greenway Trust.

"The total setting of the Falls and its grandeur is one of the region's great

treasures. We're looking for a way to help preserve the land that's fair to


The group has been working with PWI and state agencies to

encourage the acquisition. Now in its 10th year, the Greenway Trust has

negotiated with private property owners and governments to secure more than

50,000 acres of sensitive lands for the public.

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