Falls Crossing deliberations resume

SNOQUALMIE _ At a special meeting held on Nov. 10,

the Snoqualmie Planning Commission voted to extend the Falls

Crossing project's public hearing period 30 days.

The month has passed, and now the panel is back at work

considering the future of Falls Crossing.

Commission members resumed deliberations on Tuesday night,

Dec. 14, during a special meeting held at the Snoqualmie Emergency

Operations Center. According to city staffer Rhonda Montgomery, the

group picked the date during their Nov. 15 session.

"Tuesday night starts the deliberative process, and it could go on for

a couple of months," commented commission chair Matt Stone last

Friday. "The commission _ I believe _ is not in a hurry.

"We will also have our regularly scheduled meeting on the

20th. There's not much on the agenda, so I think we'll also do some more


The board granted the 30-day extension following requests from

the Snoqualmie Tribe and several citizens who expressed concerns about

possible cultural and natural resources on the site. As a result, the

commission has received additional written comments on the project, including a

letter from Allyson Brooks, the Washington State Historic Preservation


In her letter _ dated Dec. 9 and addressed to Mayor Fletcher and

the members of the planning commission _ Brooks wrote, "As your State

Historic Preservation Officer, I feel it is my responsibility to notify you that

the development will be next to one of the most significant historic properties

in the State of Washington."

She reminded the commission that Snoqualmie Falls is listed on the

National Register of Historic Places and holds a unique position as the first

"traditional culture" site ever listed

in Washington. In addition, Brooks advised her office was working with

the National Park Service on elevating the Falls to National Landmark status.

"Designation as a National Historic Landmark is the highest honor

a property can receive in the United States," she continued, "and is

thereby recognized as having exceptional value to our nation."

Brooks further requested her office's involvement in the

project, stating the proposed Falls Crossing development "might have an

impact to the historic characteristics that contribute to the property's eligibility

as a historic resource.

"We would also be delighted to meet with you and members of

the planning commission to assist with integrating historic preservation

into your planning and growth strategy," she concluded.

With the holidays looming, the commission will hold its last

regularly scheduled meeting of 1999 on Monday, Dec. 20. The session is

scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

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