JANUARY 20, 1997
City Council approves regulation freeze for TRF
by Jeff Switzer
WOODINVILLE--The City Council approved 5-1 a five-year freeze on development regulations for the TRF downtown retail project, giving the developers the certainty they requested for the life of the project.
"This agreement has been massaged several times by both attorneys," said Deputy Mayor Don Brocha. "I'm very pleased the attorneys were able to modify the language so that my objections and the council's objections were answered. This agreement is a model of cooperation."
As written in the agreement, TRF would have "less assurance that it can complete the project" in the absence of the regulation freeze, with the possibility of potential loss of revenue due to the risk and uncertainty of any city regulatory changes.
The effective date of development regulations binding TRF is Oct. 2, 1996. However, if the interim design principles are amended or rewritten, TRF buildings under design review before Oct. 2, 1998 will not have to comply. Building designs reviewed after that date will be bound by the city's design changes.
The agreement does not apply to areas immediately affecting public safety and welfare, and if the SEPA process is reopened because of project changes, any new rules will also apply. The soon-to-be discussed sign code revision will apply to TRF if the council applies it to existing businesses, as proposed.
"We're very pleased with the agreement," said Brent Carson, attorney representing TRF-Pacific. "(It) provides a benefit to both the city and TRF and gives everybody a clear understanding of what rules apply and avoids uncertainty in the future."
Councilmember Barbara Solberg, voting against the motion, said she felt a more conservative approach was more appropriate for this development. "Unforeseen things can come up," Solberg said. "I'm not opposed to the project, but I do have some reservations."