North Bend hotel concerns
August 25, 2009 · 4:35 PM
I have many concerns regarding the implementation of an amendment to the North Bend Municipal Code pursuant to Mr. Wyrsch’s application to allow hotels, up to 55 feet in height, in the Interchange Mixed Use zone south of Interstate 90.
Two of my concerns are in the general category of “unknown effects” that leave the adjacent community of Forster Woods especially vulnerable.
My first concern is the economic viability of the proposed hotel. We have all seen the devastation to the landscape after a developer begins a project and, whoops, runs out of money. Oh well. Suddenly we have a blight in our midst.
Throughout King County and beyond, there are plenty of examples of this, from immense block-wide caverns in the ground to net-covered behemoths, which stand unfinished due to a sudden lack of funding. If the project is approved, the city should insist on a financial guarantee that the project is financially solvent from beginning to end.
While I am sure Mr. Wyrsch has every intention of crafting a lovely facility, what guarantee do we have that the property won’t be subsequently sold to a less-savory owner who turns it into a pay-by-the-hour establishment?
Another concern of mine involves the environmental fragility of the area, particularly in terms of flooding. Our development has many tiny creeks which surge to torrents of water during the winter. As long as the creeks flow free and clear all the way downstream, we’re fine. But should someone throw a lunch bag or a grocery cart into the lower portions of these creeks, the backup would be huge, causing widespread flooding and property damage. Adding more people and activity to this downstream area would increase this risk. We require evidence of mitigating this risk.
I also find it disconcerting that the city of North Bend’s own market survey analysis report indicates no desire or intention to develop or pursue a zoning change in the area south of exit 31. Why is the city suddenly taking a position against its own proposals?