North Bend hotel decision delayed for public comment

North Bend’s Planning Commission has delayed considering a proposed change to development regulations to allow a hotel off Interstate 90’s Exit 31 until September.

The commission had been set to consider the change, which has drawn heavy criticism from residents in the adjacent Forster Woods neighborhood, at its Aug. 27 meeting.

The commission wants to wait until residents return from vacations after Labor Day before it considers the proposed amendment, according to Gina Estep, the city’s Economic Development Coordinator.

The proposal would allow a hotel to be built on a vacant, undeveloped lot located south of I-90.

Overgrown with weeds from years of sitting idle, the lot is zoned as Interchange Mixed Use. Earlier this decade, the city adopted a provision prohibiting a hotel on the lot. The proposed amendment would remove that prohibition.

Forster Woods residents don’t want their neighborhood bordered by a hotel, which, they say, could increase their crime rates, create traffic and public safety problems and lower property values.

George Wyrsch, who submitted the amendment and owns the land that would be affected, said he shares residents’ concerns and that his proposed 78-room, four-story hotel would not hurt the neighborhood.

While no other hotel has been proposed in North Bend, hotels could be going up in other places in Snoqualmie Valley.

The city of Snoqualmie has talked to developers about building hotels in two locations on Snoqualmie Ridge. One possible hotel would be close to I-90 and target a similar market to Wyrsch’s proposed hotel. The other would be a boutique hotel with retail located closer to the Ridge’s center.

Quadrant Homes has expressed interest in the hotel closer to I-90, according to Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson. The city is also negotiating with Muckleshoot Tribe-owned Salish Lodge about its expansion.

The Snoqualmie Tribe is exploring building a hotel at the Snoqualmie Casino, which is located on its reservation.

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