SEATTLE — King County Hearing Examiner David Spohr ruled Oct. 10 that Woodinville 4 LLC has met the terms set forth by the Growth Management Act (GMA) and Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) for the development of five homes on a 14.5-acre parcel known as the Harvey Plat.
Neighbors bordering the property zoned RA-2.5 that sits just south of the Woodinville city limits who attended a Sept. 26 meeting at the Bridgewater Center to express concerns centered on the density of allowing one home per 2.5 acres had their hopes of blocking said development dashed when the ruling went against them.
Spohr said they were correct in that the RA-2.5 zone generally allows only one home per 5 acres. However, he added a more detailed code analysis shows that one home per 5 acres (i.e. 0.2 dwelling units per acre) is only the base density in the RA-2.5 zone and that the maximum density of one home per 2.5 acres (i.e. 0.4 dwelling units per acre) is achievable through the use of transfer development rights (TDRs).
Concerns over impacts from construction, especially road blockage, noise disruption, trespass, and damage to private property were also expressed. Spohr addressed those concerns in the ruling under a conditional approval statement.
“The applicant is obligated to make whole any damage to private property. But the basic rule of land use is that while a developer cannot be forced to fix someone else’s problem, the developer can be required to account for the direct results of its development. Thus, we add a requirement that once the dust settles on other construction, the applicant must ensure that 161th Avenue NE in the vicinity of NE 172nd Street is restored and left in a condition equal to (or better than) its condition as of early 2019.”
The topic of wildlife displacement was also bought up at the meeting, to which Spohr replied in the ruling; “Outside the scenario of threatened or endangered species or something like a mapped wildlife corridor, there is no requirement that a developer preserves wildlife habitat. And we have no authority to create one.”
Spohr added that approval of the preliminary Harvey plat comes with the stipulation the applicant must obtain final approval from the King County Health Department, and King County Fire Protection Engineer for the adequacy of the fire hydrant, water main, and fire flow standards.
According to Spohr, the decision set forth can be appealed.