JANUARY 13, 1997
County Council gives nod to Northridge
by Jeff Switzer
BEAR CREEK--The second of two mini-cities on Novelty Hill Road has gotten the nod from the King County Council, but will probably face the same journey to Superior Court as did its companion project Blakely Ridge.
The council voted 8-2-3 to approve the UPD permit for Northridge, the preliminary plat, the road vacation, and the amendments to the p-suffix conditions (rezone). The proposed ordinance to declare it a fully contained community did not, however, receive approval and was tabled until Jan. 24.
King County Councilman Brian Derdowski moved to remand the water availability, aquifer, and traffic issues on appeal to the hearing examiner. That vote went down 8-3-2 with Councilmembers Louise Miller, Derdowski, and Ron Sims voting in favor, Maggi Fimia and Peter von Reichbauer excused.
Miller offered amendments to monitor the effects on Union Hill's aquifer at 50-percent buildout in addition to 25-percent and 75-percent buildout; this was unanimously approved by the 11 members present.
"You have beaucoup problems when you leap-frog," said Miller, describing the urban island located miles from the urban-rural line and joining Derdowski in voting against all of the measures. "You're not going to create a rural town here."
The fully contained community permit was not approved. After an attempt to postpone it to Feb. 14 failed, the motion to approve failed 5-6-2. The council is scheduled to readdress it Jan. 24.
While that motion failed, the Northridge project, much like Blakely Ridge, is still viable and legal without an FCC designation. Derdowski reiterated that the FCC term was originally manufactured during the Blakely Ridge process as a failsafe should the project fail in court.
Pleased with approval, Quadrant Senior Vice-President Peter Orser said the finale was anti-climactic.
"I feel good about the depth of the process and the quality of input," Orser said. "Every issue was addressed and re-addressed, and no stone was left unturned."
Orser said appeals of the project at this point would be redundant and self-serving, and that the final project will embody growth management. "It's really growth management being actualized," he said.
Blakely Ridge and Northridge combined will put as many as 8,000 new residents on Novelty Hill Road and provide nearly 4,000 jobs, said the developers. Each project is approximately 1,000 acres, slightly more than half of which is open space.
Northridge proposes 229 acres of residential use, 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, developed over a five- to fifteen-year period, will have a total of 1,300 to 1,500 units and an estimated population of 4,150 and 3,700 jobs.