Local News

Two UPD lawsuits filed

UPD lawsuits by Jeff Switzer, staff reporter
While legislative actions and processing continue for the Blakely Ridge urban planned development (UPD) and the proposed Northridge UPD, the final word may come this July as two lawsuits wend their way through two county Superior Courts.
   King County and Port Blakely Communities have filed suit against the Growth Management Hearings Board in King County Superior Court in response to the Dec. 2 remand of the county's 1994 comprehensive plan, changing their decision which validated the UPDs on Oct. 23, 1995 because of the unchallenged countywide planning policies.
   The remand required the county to justify the "island" urban growth area where the two UPDs are located, change them to a fully contained community (FCC), or delete the urban designation.
   King County has until Mar. 15 to comply with the remand regardless of the lawsuit, and is scheduled to take final action Mar. 11 on two ordinances amending the comp plan and the zoning code to change the UPDs to an FCC.
   The second lawsuit was filed by Friends of the Law (FOTL) and the Coalition for Public Trust (CPT) against King County and Port Blakely Communities in Snohomish County Superior Court. FOTL and CPT's lawsuit brings appearance of fairness allegations against the council for its approval of the UPD permit in December, as well as challenging the adequacy of the one-acre alternative in the environmental impact statement.
   Blakely Ridge and Northridge plan to develop only portions of their urban designated sites, combining for 3,750 units, 8,203 people, and 5,441 jobs. The Bear Creek Community Plan allows for future development up to 7,812 units, 17,734 people, and 6,879 jobs.
   Blakely Ridge aspires to be a 55-year or older active senior community with 2,250 residential units and 200 assisted living units, 533 acres of open space, 125,000 square feet of retail space, and an 18-hole golf course on 1,050 acres north of Novelty Hill road.
   Quadrant, the developers for Northridge, proposes to develop a 1,046-acre site south of Novelty Hill Road with 229 acres of residential uses, including single- and multi-family, an eight-acre neighborhood shopping center adjacent to Novelty Hill Road, a 122-acre business park, public facilities, and 602 acres of open space.
   When completed, the proposed project would have a total of 1,300 to 1,500 units and an estimated population of 4,150, developed over a five- to 15-year period.