New Northridge UPD appeal goes to GMA Board
by Jeff Switzer
The two grassroots organizations opposing the urban planned developments (UPDs) in the Bear Creek area have filed a new appeal to the Growth Management Hearings Board, asking that the 460 acres east of the proposed Northridge project be redesignated rural.
Friends of the Law (FOTL) and the Coalition for Public Trust (CPT) argue that the urban growth area designation for the 1,506 acres belonging to Quadrant is not appropriate for the 460 acres not planned for development. They cite King County land-use policies which state, "If the applications necessary to implement the UPDs are ... not pursued by the applicant(s), then the property subject to the UPD shall be redesignated rural..."
FOTL and CPT combine that policy with the findings in the Northridge environmental impact statement which state: "No action is proposed for the remaining 460 acres of the site (the eastern portion) at this time," as well as possible rural development by way of 40 five-acre lots.
"Urban development on the panhandle at this time would exceed Bear Creek's population allocation (per the Comprehensive Plan) and would exceed the capacity of infrastructure planned over the next 20 years," the EIS states.
"Note that the fate of Quadrant's eastern 460 acres is a legislative issue, not quasi-judicial," said Joseph Elfelt, president of FOTL. "That is because the area at issue is not included in any of Quadrant's pending quasi-judicial applications."
The proposed Northridge UPD is currently before the King County Council as a quasi-judicial hearing. FOTL and CPT are appealing the recommendation to approve the development in addition to their appeal to the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board.