At the February 9, 2017 Snoqualmie City Council Retreat, a local real estate development group, Snoqualmie Heights Master Plan, LLC, announced their plans to bring an planned ‘active-adult’ retirement community to the city.
According to a press release, after more than two years of planning and discussions with the city and property owners of the area identified to hold the proposed development, called the Snoqualmie Hills West Annexation Area, the development group is ready to initiate the annexation process.
The 2014 City of Snoqualmie Comprehensive Plan identified a need for an ‘innovative planned retirement community in the Snoqualmie Hills West potential annexation area,’ which is located between Snoqualmie Parkway and downtown Snoqualmie and within the city’s Urban Growth Area (UGA). Contracts/agreements have also been signed with landowners.
The City Council, though, would first have to approve the land annexation. According to a presentation given at the council retreat, the formal announcement of the intent to annex the 260-acres needed for the development will happen this spring.
225 acres of the development would hold approximately 800 age-restricted (55+) housing units, including a mix of single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums. The remaining 35 acres would be allocated for 400 over-retail-apartments (non age-restricted), an assisted living facility and potentially other services determined to meet community needs. The developers are seeking mixed-use zoning for the entire annexation area.
The proposed development would have access from Snoqualmie Parkway, possibly on Fisher Ave, and also have in and out access streets on its eastern edge near downtown Snoqualmie and the Snoqualmie Casino. It is also possible Douglas Street [in the Business Park] could be extended as an access street. The development would be located behind the Woody Creek and Braeburn neighborhoods.
Active Adult Community Needed, says City
Per the press release, “a new community specifically tailored to those 55 and older will address an unmet demand in the Snoqualmie Valley, where housing options for the region’s burgeoning retiree population are limited.”
City of Snoqualmie Community Development Director Mark Hofman said this development could fill a gap and be a good fit for the growing number of baby boomers looking to downsize and stay in the area, adding that such a demand is currently not being met in fast-growing King County. The development, with its smaller homes, was described as an option for empty-nesters who don’t need the big house anymore and want to stay close to home – or possibly retirees looking to be near their grandchildren.
“We are excited to bring forward a proposal that represents an opportunity for the city, the community and the landowners to work together on a coordinated development that will accommodate and support Snoqualmie’s residential growth plan and address the needs of this population demographic, today and in the future,” said Sno-Heights MP spokesman Michael Matysik.
Matysik said the potential Snoqualmie development was inspired by successful projects and incorporates features of developments like Trilogy on Redmond Ridge and Patriots Landing in Dupont. They hope to create a “multi-generational community in Snoqualmie with housing and services tailored to the active adult lifestyle.”
During the council presentation, it was discussed that Snoqualmie has attracted many young families and this potential development would draw a different population, one that supports the community without adding pressure to schools, traffic, etc.
The Sno-Heights development group said they are ready to work with the city to address key elements of the proposed development in a Pre-Annexation Agreement. Detailed community planning, though, would occur after annexation, with an emphasis on integrating the proposed neighborhood into the city.
The Sno-Heights project team is also working with city staff on issues like water availability, traffic analysis, a cost-benefit overview and an annexation implementation plan.
If the city council approves the annexation, development would be phased, with the first phase of home construction anticipated around 2020.
Spokesman Matysik commented, “We look forward to working with the city to bring this new housing element to the community in a manner that supports and complements existing neighborhoods, businesses and the environment.”
With the last big city land annexation (old the Mill Site), multiple public hearings were held to give residents an opportunity to comment.