North Bend Hearing Examiner Ted Hunter has a week to weigh in on the largest new-home development in the city in more than 10 years.
The 142-home subdivision, proposed by Polygon Homes for a 35.52-acre lot on Cedar Falls Way and Maloney Grove Avenue, was the subject of public hearing on Thursday, Feb. 10.
Public testimony was largely in favor of the development. However, some citizens urged city staff to consider the cumulative effect of this and future developments, and nearly all speakers called on the city to reduce the speed of traffic on Cedar Falls Way.
Senior Planner Jamie Burrell introduced the project, stating that the development would include 142 homes, three parks, trails and open space. Polygon Homes would have to meet 2010 street standards adopted in November, along with 48 other conditions regarding meeting city code, to move forward with the project, she noted, adding that the staff would recommend approving the project at that point.
Polygon had agreed to provide a 20-foot swath of trees along the property line with LaForest Homes as a privacy buffer for both the existing and new home-owners.
The company also proposed to reduce the required buffer around a Class 3 wetland on the site, and Burrell discussed mitigation of that potentional action. The intent of the city code on wetland buffers is that there is no net loss of wetland buffer function, she said, so if Polygon could not mitigate the buffer reduction by additional plantings on the site, the city could require Polygon to eliminate one or more building lots from the plat design.
Hunter had several questions about the wetland buffer, and with 10 days to file his decision, “we’re not authorizing any reduction of wetland buffer today,” he said.
Public Works Director Ron Garrow commented on the traffic study required for the development, saying the city’s six-year transportation improvement plan already addressed most changes that would be needed by the new development, so the traffic impact fee would mitigate that effect.
When a citizen asked about traffic volumes estimated for each of the two planned access points in the development, Polygon Development Manager Richard Rawlings responded that the ratio of traffic using the Cedar Falls Way entry vs. the Maloney Grove Way entry was about two to one.
Hunter said that because the site, undeveloped, had no stormwater runoff, the developed site would be held to the same standard. Rutkowski assured him that each individual lot would manage its own stormwater infiltration.