Preserving and extending the available housing and preventing the removal of trees were changes the North Bend City Council on Jan. 22 made to the upcoming River Run apartment development .
At a special meeting held on Tuesday, Jan. 22, North Bend councilmembers voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing a developer agreement with North Bend Associates LLC. The developer is in the permitting process for the River Run apartment complex that will be located on the NE corner of 436th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 136th Street.
The developer requested relief on certain aspects of the city’s municipal code in order to reduce costs for the overall development. They requested the city allow them to build 12 units per multi-family building, rather than the city’s limit of 10 units. That would allow the developers to build one less building overall and bring parking to the ground level from the originally planned underground placement.
David Miller, community and economic development director, said the change would also save 22 trees on the property. North Bend Associates also will be increasing the number of units designated as affordable housing from 25 to 28, with a total unit count of 128 units in the complex. The affordable unit prices also would be extended from 12 years to 24 years.
Councilmember Martin Volken was supportive but noted that the proposal would be adding more impervious surface for a parking lot and was made to make the project cheaper for the developer.
“The reason this [was proposed] was to make the project pencil better for the developer. That’s what this was all about, but I think we got some positive things out of the deal,” he said. “The smaller footprint doesn’t quite tell the real story, because you are definitely adding impervious surface for the parking that was normally going to be underneath… But the biggest gain is a few additional units of affordability and extended period of locked in affordability.”
Both Volken and Councilmember Chris Garcia agreed more multi-family housing was needed in North Bend. Specifically, Volken noted, near the downtown area.
“What we really need is different levels of housing people can afford. While 100 of these units might not be ‘affordable’ they are certainly probably going to be less than trying to find a house to rent in North Bend or Snoqualmie,” Garcia said. “There is a shortage of rental houses in North Bend, so this gives people another level to be able to stay or move to the Valley.”