Legislation Could Mean Much Smaller Development at Point Wells

The Growth Management Hearings Board will review the changes in December.

Information for this story is from BRSE Point Wells, the developer of the site. For more information on the proposed transformation at Point Wells, go to www.pointwells.com.

The Snohomish County Council today adopted legislation which creates a new, less dense "Urban Village" alternative to development under its urban center regulations. The council then changed the designation of Point Wells from urban center to urban village.

(Editor's note: Point Wells is in unincorporated Snohomish County and surrounded by the Town of Woodway. It's a controversal issue in both Snohomish and King counties as the only access to the site is through Shoreline on Richmond Beach Drive. See previous story about the proposed status from Save Richmond Beach.)

The county's actions were in part designed to bring it into compliance with the requirements of the Growth Management Hearings Board decision in appeals of its earlier designation of Point Wells as an urban center.

The board will review the sufficiency of the county's actions in a December hearing.

"We have followed and, where appropriate, supported the county's efforts to comply with the requirements of the Growth Management Hearings Board," said Gary Huff, land-use lawyer for BSRE Point Wells. "We trust that the board will approve of the ounty's actions so that our collective efforts moving forward can focus on further understanding and appropriately mitigating the impacts of our specific proposal."

The county's efforts to comply with the requirements of the Growth Management Hearings Board order include the publication of an addendum to its 2009 urban center programmatic environmental impact statement.

The addendum was written as if the analysis had been included in the county's 2009 programmatic EIS and reviews the impacts of a generic urban village-style project.

Huff noted that the board mandated "less dense alternative" addressed in the addendum does not reflect BSRE's proposal.

More importantly, Huff emphasized that the specifics of BSRE's proposal will be thoroughly addressed in a future, project-specific environmental impact statement which will update and reflect the evolution of ongoing discussions with interested parties regarding the optimal approach to limiting vehicle trips and most effectively mitigating project impacts. 

"The upcoming project-specific EIS will include an expanded and updated traffic analysis. We are confident that project-related traffic can and will be effectively managed, limited and mitigated."

BSRE Point Wells is proposing to transform its 61-acre industrial site on Puget Sound into a signature mixed-use community.

The project will be developed in multiple phases over 20 years, beginning with cleanup of the aging petroleum facility.

The new master-planned community would provide new public access opportunities to almost a mile of sandy beach, parks, a public pier, restored and enhanced habitat and other amenities.

Paramount Petroleum currently owns and operates a marine fuels distribution center and asphalt facility at the site.


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