Land annexation process started for potential 800-home active adult community in Snoqualmie

On June 22, 2017, development group Snoqualmie Heights Partners, LLC initiated the annexation process for approximately 260 acres of land located in the city’s Snoqualmie Hills West Urban Growth Area (UGA) . The land is situated between Snoqualmie Ridge, downtown Snoqualmie and the Snoqualmie Casino.

Late last week, Snoqualmie Heights Partners submitted to the City of Snoqualmie a Notice of Intention to Annex, which was signed by the owners of at least 10% of property value proposed for annexation.

The group wants to develop an 800-home age restricted (55+), active adult community consisting of 500 single family homes, 200 townhomes and 100 condos ranging in size from 800 sq. ft. to 3,000 sq. ft. The homes would be located on approximately 220 of the 260 acres (see photo below), with usage for the remaining 40 acres to be determined by city needs –  if the process moves along. Ideas proposed for those 40-acres include an assisted living facility and retail space with apartments above.

Annexation Process, Many steps Involved – NOT Done Deal

Per state law, the City of Snoqualmie has 60 days after the notice was filed to hold a public meeting with the initiating parties to determine three things: 1) whether the city will accept, reject or geographically modify the proposed annexation; 2) whether to require the simultaneous adoption of a proposed zoning regulation (if such proposal was prepared and filed); 3) whether to require the assumption of all or of any portion of existing city indebtedness by the area to be annexed.

In order for the annexation to proceed further, the city council must accept the Notice of Intent to Annex. If they reject it, the process is over. There is no appeal or annexation.

As of publication, a date for the public meeting on the intent to annex had not been scheduled by the city. Snoqualmie Heights Partners stated they are “committed to giving all interested parties ample time to review all information on the project” and plan to suggest the public meeting be held toward the end of the 60 day window.” In the interim, the development group said it supports beginning public conversations early “to make sure everyone has accurate information and a chance to have their questions heard.”

If the council accepts notice, that would be only the first of many steps required for the annexation to occur.  NOTE: Acceptance of the notice does NOT approve the annexation. It only authorizes the next step where the initiating parties can circulate a petition for annexation. In order for that to be approved, the petition must include signatures of owners of 60% or more of the assessed value of the proposed annexation property.

The 60% Petition is then subject to a public hearing before the city council after which the council can still deny the annexation. If they approve it, though, it must be done through a city ordinance.

Snoqualmie Heights Partners stated if their notice of intent to annex is accepted, it anticipates submitting the 60% Petition later in 2017 or in early 2018. It has also proposed that the annexation area be subject to the City’s Mixed Use District Regulations.

A representative for the group said, “We have met the necessary threshold to advance the annexation request presently and we are confident we will ultimately exceed 60% of assessed value represented by the petition to advance the request.”

The group said it has been working for three years to purchase the estimated 260 acres from approximately 35 different land owners. Two five-acre parcel owners have firmly stated they will not sell so the developers said they would design the community, including its roads, around these properties –  and that eminent domain would not come into play.

If the phased development becomes reality, it is still many years out. The first home wouldn’t be built until 2021, with the final home constructed in 2030.

To find out more details about the possible 800-unit active adult, age restricted community, read our earlier story HERE.

 

Neighborhood map shows the location of the Snoqualmie Hills annexation area located in Snoqualmie’s Urban Growth area.

 

Snoqualmie Hills conceptual site map. Not all of possible annexation land is build-able. Acres in green are wetland/open space/critical areas. Conceptual options for roads are in gray.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Elena Montgomery says:

    With our population of “boomers” already living in the Snoqualmie Valley, it would be a welcomed addition to the community, Retirees would be able to downsize without leaving the having to leave the Valley. It would provide more downstairs bedrooms for safety, more activities to stay active and healthy and more social opportunities. I sure would welcome the opportunity.

  2. This development is not in the best interest of the community. The plan forces the 35 land owners to make a tough decision… sell their land to the developer or be walled in by development. The plan does nothing to improve the quality of life to residents that cannot or will not sell out. “Sell your land or we will build around you.” It does nothing to improve or maintain water quality in the sensitive wetland areas to the south of the proposed annexation area. The area is an easy mark for developers because of it’s geographical location but another major master-planned community in the Snoqualmie Valley isn’t wanted by anyone that won’t plan on profiting from it.

    • The land owner group brought this idea to the developer, not vice versa. The area was set aside by county and city officials as one of the only areas that can be developed almost 20 years ago and this fact has been available to anyone buying or owning land in this area ever since. Many people bought this land in hopes that it would eventually be developed. Bottom line, NO ONE is being handed an ultimatum.

  3. The density for this proposal will be higher than Issaquah Highlands.

  4. As a neighbor of this proposed development, I see all the negative impacts of this plan… even more congested roads, unwanted displacement of our community members and vast wildlife that call this area home ( bear, cougar, bobcats, elk, etc…), destruction to sensitive wetlands, and overpriced homes that few seniors will be able to afford. Slow down, make real, sustainable plans for the future of our community and valley. Instant gratification is never the real solution to quality living, for anybody.

  5. Why would Snoqualmie want to encourage only “seniors”
    when they have placed a moratorium on new home
    building for families!!???????
    If you think traffic is bad now, wait until the roads are full
    of people who should not be driving!
    Does Snoqualmie want to be the nursing home community
    for the East Side?? I hope NOT!!!!!!

    • Danna McCall says:

      There is currently no moratorium on new home building for families in the City of Snoqualmie. The age restriction this developer is proposing is 55+… so more than just seniors.

      • Why not use the proposed land for developing new
        housing for all ages, then? Not just 55+?? Snoqualmie
        needs more new places to grow and flourish….and
        tax-paying residents!
        AND if it’s for 55+, presumably, those 55+ will get older,
        and some buyers will already be 65+ or 75+??
        AND if there is an assisted living or nursing home as
        part of the development, who does Snoqualmie think
        will be living there???

        • 55+ housing means that someone over the age of 55 lives there. I am 56, with a 52 year old wife and 3 children 18, 20 and 22. We would qualify to live in this development.
          Currently there is very little product available to people who plan on spending their more advanced years in the valley even though this is one of the largest demographic groups.

        • In discussions with the city and in accordance with the strategic plans of the city and county this area needs to be developed using innovative measures. 55+ housing qualifies as innovative and was far and away identified as the biggest under served group regarding housing, in the valley in terms of supply and demand.

      • Are you aware that these “senior” homes will be starting at $700,000.00? It is also mixed use, which means that there will also be businesses, single family residences and more townhomes, similar to what Port Blakey deveopled in the iss in the Issaquah Highlands, the developer has also compared this to Trilogy the 55+ community in Redmond.

        • Danna McCall says:

          That’s sounds about right. The developers said target demographic would be 55+ homeowners who want to sell bigger house to downsize. Mixed use allows for many uses – doesn’t mean all the things you mention will happen. If the council allows this to move forward, many things would have to be decided with community input.

  6. The decision should WAIT on Mayor and council election results. I am hoping that the current folks who want to clone the dreadful Issaquah Highway – e.g. Mayor Larsen – will be shown the exit, and we can pursue some “smart growth” policies with close community collaboration.

    • Danna McCall says:

      The final decision won’t be made until after the election. The process is documented in the article.

      • Ok people…. sounds like you love the idea of Snoqualmie becoming
        a new demographic! I’m not impressed by the price range
        of these proposed 55+ units…..could be $1million…..
        the point remains the same. “If you build it, they will come”!
        And they won’t want to fund schools (no kids at home);
        and they will be counting their pennies (no fun, upscale
        restaurants); and they will vote down anything not pertaining
        specifically to them (no upgrades to kid’s parks, infrastructure
        repairs, etc.); and they’ll close the door on the Snoqualmie we
        love today! And plop an assisted living in the middle of it!
        But go ahead, open that Pandora’s box!!!! Enjoy!!

        • Elena Montgomery says:

          Do we know the kind of housing that is proposed for this potential 55+ community? All that I could find says that the proposed develpment will be made up of apartments, town homes and single family residences. I asked the Planning Department at City Hall and the Planning Director responded by saying that it’s too early to tell. The first thing that needs to happen is allowing the annexation of the property into the City.
          If residents feel strongly about the Annexation proposal, the thing to do is to lobby Council Members to vote against the proposed ordinance.

  7. Kay Bonikowsky says:

    I love the idea of senior communities, but not ones that disqualify those on fixed incomes. I’d love to see more affordable housing designated for lower-income and fixed-income families or seniors offered in Snoqualmie. I live down hill from this proposed community. While I understand the desire to bring in revenue by building large, expensive homes catering to wealthy retirees, I am saddened by the loss of emphasis on building a welcoming, inclusive community for all, not just those who can fit the bill. I am disturbed by all that we will lose if this community is built.

  8. For more information on this subject please visit our website http://www.snoheightsaac.com

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