There were a few notable happenings at the March 13th Snoqualmie City Council Meeting, which are recapped below.
Hotel Closer to Reality
The city council unanimously approved two components needed for a developer to move a proposed 97-room hotel/retail project forward on Snoqualmie Ridge at the corner of Center Street and Snoqualmie Parkway.
1) They approved amendments to the Snoqualmie Ridge Mixed Use Final Plan, Snoqualmie Ridge Development Standards, and Business Park Binding Site Improvement Plan, including reducing the current 50-foot setback from Snoqualmie Parkway to [average] 15 feet; adding a right in/out lane into the development off Snoqualmie Parkway; and allowing 5-story structures with the maximum height of 60 feet. [The amendments are for this project only.]
2) The council also approved a resolution authorizing the mayor enter into a development agreement for the project with the owners of the land parcel where the proposed hotel is slated to be located – parcel 20 across Center Street from Chase Bank.
Council member Brad Toft said approximately 25 people showed up at Monday’s 7PM public hearing for the project, with the majority in attendance opposed. Toft commented that most stated they weren’t objecting to a hotel in Snoqualmie, but were opposed to the specific location.
Over the past month many residents have voiced objections to the proposed hotel’s size and very close proximity to Snoqualmie Parkway, as well as the loss of the existing large buffering trees. Opponents stated the hotel would will ruin views and the neighborhood character of Snoqualmie Ridge.
Toft commented, “I think the people who attended last night’s meeting saw a very deliberative process on the part of city staff and the council. And even if some don’t like the decision to proceed with the project, I think that city staff and the developer paid close attention to the issues that were of concern.”
With these [above] two components approved by council, the developer can now pursue other project requirements, like submitting building applications and applying for permits.
City of Snoqualmie Senior Planner Bend Swanson stated in January that the developer hopes to begin construction spring/summer of 2017.
Mayor Larson has Challenger
Council members Toft and Prewitt said former Snoqualmie Mayor Fuzzy Fletcher made a brief announcement during Monday’s meeting – that he will challenge current Mayor Matt Larson in the 2017 mayoral election. Larson announced last month he will seek a fourth term.
Fletcher served two terms as mayor, from 1998-2005. Before that he served as a city council member. Fletcher stepped down as mayor after two terms, telling the Seattle Times at the time that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Council member Prewitt said Fletcher also mentioned that he knew of two other residents whom he expects to also announce plans to run for mayor. If that happens, it would set up a summer primary, with the two top voter-getters moving onto the November general election.
Second Council Member Announces will seek re-election
The second of four city council members up for re-election this year, Kathi Prewitt, announced she would seek re-election. Prewitt has served on city council since 2004. Five of those years she also served as Mayor Pro-tem.
The terms of Council Members Bryan Holloway and Heather Munden also expire at year-end, but neither commented about their re-election plans during the meeting.