JANUARY 13, 1997

 The Edwards Agency

Local News

City Council more receptive to TRF's five-year freeze

regulatory changes by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--Wary of freezing conditions for 10 years on the city's first major downtown development since incorporation, the City Council seemed more at ease with the more recent proposal for five years of assurance for TRF-Pacific, developers of Woodinville's downtown retail project.
   City Attorney Wayne Tanaka and TRF attorney Brent Carson agreed to a five-year freeze, insulating the project from regulatory changes from the effective date of Oct. 2, 1996, when the binding site plan was approved for the 44-acre project.
   However, councilmembers did wonder whether the project would be subject to the soon-to-be revised sign code. "If you are requiring existing businesses to conform, TRF will have to as well," said Carson.
   The current sign code proposal would require downtown businesses to follow certain dimensions, styles, and color palette upon redevelopment, and encourage compliance within six years for existing signs.
   If the agreement is approved by the council, TRF-Pacific's project would not be subject to changes in land-use regulations for five years, a period which is also called for in state statutes, excluding public safety considerations and substantial changes to the project or environmental impacts not covered in the original EIS.
   Also, if the city's interim design principles are revised by Oct. 2, 1998, buildings which have not undergone permit document development design review may be subject to the new regulations.
   The agreement notes that TRF is spending $300,552 on road improvements and right-of-way dedications. On previous occasions, Carson has mentioned that the agreement gives TRF assurance of being able to complete the project in the same way road dedication gives the city assurance they will have streets.