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Canterbury sale in the works — possibly —

  • Written by Don Mann
Canterbury
Entrance to Canterbury Square in downtown Woodinville. Photo by Don Mann.
There’s been some recent activity regarding Canterbury Square, the aging manufactured-home community that sits for sale on 20 acres of prime land in the heart of downtown Woodinville, a nugget that’s been crying out for redevelopment.

At its last meeting local real estate developer Doug Reiss of Dave Weidner Apartment Homes introduced  himself to the Woodinville City Council during public comment and announced he and his partner had entered a purchase and sale agreement with the Canterbury Homeowners Association.

The agreement includes a six-month feasibility study of the redevelopment of Canterbury Square before any money actually changes hands.

Reiss spoke about a vision that was “fairly aligned” with the city’s, appealed for council’s support in working together, and touched upon a “win-win” design for an exciting downtown residential/ retail component to Woodinville.

Reiss later sat down with the Woodinville Weekly to expand on that vision.

“First of all we’re talking about apartments and not condominiums,” he said. “I think city council realizes that’s what’s viable in today’s market.”

Reiss noted that during a previous meeting, council produced a map that showed where it wanted retail development in its rezoned central business district.

“They want 135th Ave. to extend through Canterbury and intersect with 171st St. and we think that makes sense, too,” Reiss said. “They want retail along that street and we agree that’s what should be there. And it should be nice, upscale: wine bars, clothing stores, restaurants — an attractive retail addition to Woodinville. They talked about wanting this to be a people-place, so we want to create a nightlife atmosphere as well as a daytime atmosphere. So in our vision we’d have apartments above that ground floor retail along the main street.  That’s the city’s vision and that’s our vision.”

Reiss was reluctant to say what price he and Weidner would be paying for the parcel should the feasibility study prove to be a go.

In 2006, it was noted, CamWest Development, Inc. was set to pay the homeowners association $35 million before it rescinded the offer when the economic forecast grew dark.

“I will tell you the homeowners association had to significantly compromise because that price was in a different economic climate,” he said. “That was six years ago and things were very different.” CamWest was then interested in building condominiums for sale, he said.

So what will be successful for Reiss’s group that didn’t look to be successful for CamWest?

“They were looking at less density and the (building) height limit has now changed from 50 to 57 feet,” he said. “In order to be successful, in order for us to provide the infrastructure the city wants, we’re going to have to have density.”

Woodinville City Manager Richard Leahy recently stated that Canterbury’s redevelopment alone could provide up to 75 percent of the 2,000 dwelling units that the Growth Management Act (GMA) has mandated the city needs to make available by 2020.

Reiss would not put his finger on a specific number of units he intended to build.

“We’re less concerned with GMA mandates and more concerned with economic viability,” he said.

Unlike a lot of properties and development opportunities which are adjacent to residential areas, Reiss said, this one is not. And that’s what makes it unique.

“Instead of swimming upstream against community interest, what we’re doing is enhancing the community in that the local businesses will like this arrangement because it will bring new customers,” he said.

“It will increase walkability and create an exciting people-place, during the day, during the evening and on the weekend. It’s absolutely a key piece of land and it’s not like it’s out on the periphery next to this subdivision or that subdivision; it’s right downtown.”

He compared the project to the redevelopment that’s happening in Redmond, Kirkland and Bothell.

“They’re bringing people into the downtown core,” he said. “They’re eliminating automobile and traffic and pollution. This is the trend and it’s a good one, instead of the urban sprawl you get with massive apartment complexes out next to a whole bunch of houses.”

Ginger Buchanan keeps her fingers crossed for the sale to go through but has heard it all before.

President of Canterbury Criers Association and a CHA member who still resides in one of the complex’s 128 units, Buchanan said 114 of the 116 owners voted to approve the sale — the third time a sale has been approved since 2006.

“A lot of people really want to get out of here and the average age of the 37 owners still living here is 86,” she said. “Right now we have more renters than homeowners. We need to get it sold and the sooner the people at City Hall decide what they want here, the better.”

The council is still making its way through new Ordinance No. 524 which amends downtown zoning code regulations, set to begin second reading on the item for approval after taking 11 months to pass first reading.

“Ever since Woodinville became a city it’s been a struggle every step of the way,” Buchanan added. “They get the master plan laid out and then they make these amendments to it. They just cannot make a decision. And then they argued about the height and it was a matter of a few feet. I mean, we’re not talking 10 stories here.

“The planning director had said none of the prospective builders who’ve come to him want to build retail, but apparently Weidner does. So what’s the problem?

“They’re stalling over itty-bitty issues. We just want it sold; we need to move on. It’s not fair to make us sit here all these years wondering what we should plan for. This is not the way to treat older people.”

From the city’s point of view, Assistant to the City Manager Alexandra Sheeks said the following: “This is a private party transaction and as a courtesy we don’t discuss a party’s plans with third parties. What I can tell you is Mr. Reiss has begun his six-month due diligence period and they have not filed an application for development.”

Kenmore residents needed for library board and landmarks commission

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The Kenmore City Council is seeking residents to serve on the Kenmore Library Advisory Board and as a special member on the King County Landmarks Commission.

Applicants with a variety of skills, interests and experience are encouraged to apply. Application forms are available on the City’s website, www.kenmorewa.gov, or at City Hall, 18120 68th Ave. NE. Please send your completed application to:

Lynn Suskin, City of Kenmore Clerk, PO Box 82607, Kenmore, WA 98028. You may also submit the application via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Completed application forms should be received by the City Clerk by Monday, February 13, 2012.

Kenmore residents needed for library board and landmarks commission

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The Kenmore City Council is seeking residents to serve on the Kenmore Library Advisory Board and as a special member on the King County Landmarks Commission.

Applicants with a variety of skills, interests and experience are encouraged to apply. Application forms are available on the City’s website, www.kenmorewa.gov, or at City Hall, 18120 68th Ave. NE. Please send your completed application to:

Lynn Suskin, City of Kenmore Clerk, PO Box 82607, Kenmore, WA 98028. You may also submit the application via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Completed application forms should be received by the City Clerk by Monday, February 13, 2012.

Senate passes gay marriage bill; House review next

  • Written by Maida Suljevic and Scott Panitz, WNPA Olympia News Bureau

State Senate
Photo by Scott Panitz, WNPA Olympic News Bureau, TheWashington State Senate passed the same-sex marriage bill, ESSB 6239, Feb. 1.
As Senate President Brad Owens announced that the same-sex marriage bill, ESSB 6239, had passed, an anxious audience of hundreds watching attentively during tense floor debate erupted with applause.

The bill, which had bipartisan support, passed in the Senate 28 to 21 late Feb. 1.

The bill has already garnered enough support in the House after it moves through committees to pass and is expected to be on the governor’s desk early next week.

“I think it’s one of the more powerful experiences of my life,” said Sen. Kevin Ranker (D – 40th District, Orcas Island).  “This, getting married, and having my little girl. This is amazing. It’s an incredibly powerful experience.”

Sen. Ed Murray (D – 43rd District, Seattle), the main sponsor of the bill, was pleased with the outcome of the debate. “It was one of the best debates I’ve ever seen in my time in the Legislature,” he said. “And when we finally won, it was incredibly moving.”

Opponents to the bill are expected to file a referendum if the governor signs the bill into law.

A referendum would allow Washington’s voters to decide whether to adopt, ratify or reject the legislation. A minimum of 120,577 signatures of registered voters are required to qualify a referendum for the fall ballot, which must be submitted by June 6.

Voters in 2009 easily ratified the state’s “Everything but Marriage” domestic partnership law, a precursor to the marriage equality bill approved by the Senate.

During the debate, Sen. Brian Hatfield (D – 19th District, Raymond) proposed an amendment to place the measure before Washington voters without requiring signatures.

Hatfield believes that the legislation would create a significant enough change that the Legislature should give citizens “the right to have their voice[s] heard,” he said.

The amendment was rejected 23 to 26.

All told, seven floor amendments were passed, most of which provided protections for religious organizations, including churches, faith-based and religious educational institutions and religious officials that could refuse services related to the solemnization or celebration of a marriage.

An amendment proposed by Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen (D-10th District, Camano Island) to ensure that the law has no effect on the way religious or non-profit organizations currently handle adoption, foster care or other child-placing services was also approved.

Speaking in opposition to the legislation was Sen. Dan Swecker (R – 20th District, Rochester). He said that the legislation would silence “those who believe in the traditional definition of marriage.”

Many tears were shed as members of the Senate delivered their testimonies. Ranker spoke in support of the legislation and recollected memories from his childhood and the hardships his father faced as a gay man.

“It was scary,” said Ranker of his testimony. “I’ve given dozens and dozens of speeches on this floor on all sorts of issues and I’m a fairly confident speaker — as my colleagues would probably tell me, maybe too confident — but this, I was nervous. I rehearsed it with my staff, which I never do. For me, I write a few bullet points and give a speech; it’s not a problem.

“But this one I really had to think about it, because it was so personal. The hardest thing was, and this is why I was rehearsing it with my staff, I couldn’t get through it without losing it. I’m just glad that I finished it.”

Should the governor, who requested the legislation, sign the bill into law [this] week, Washington becomes the seventh state in the nation to legalize gay marriage.

NSD accepting 2012 nominations for Wall of Honor

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Northshore School District (NSD) is accepting nominations for the Wall of Honor’s 2012 inductees. The Wall of Honor annually recognizes the rich history of outstanding achievements of Northshore School District alumni, personnel and volunteers who have made significant contributions to our community, state, nation or world.

Nominations must be received by March 30. Nomination forms should provide as much detail as possible regarding the nominee, including background information, supporting evidence for the nomination, special honors and notable achievements. Incomplete submissions and those without sufficient information may not be considered.

Nomination forms and guidelines are available at www.nsd.org/wallofhonor.

A committee of alumni, community leaders and district representatives will select the 2012 inductees.

The Wall of Honor will be updated with the names of the new inductees and a recognition ceremony and reception for the inductees will be held August 16 at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell.

Contact Karen Orsinger, Northshore School District partnerships coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (425) 408-7673, for more information.