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AUGUST 18, 1997

Local News

Council tables zoning change on O'Boyle property

  by Andrew Walgamott
   The city council tabled an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan that could've brought as many as 226 new apartments on land west of the Woodinville-Redmond Road above Schuyler Rubber.
   Woodinville Councilmember Barbara Solberg objected to the proposal, fearing that steep slopes on the 40-acre property could lead to landslide and seismic hazards for future residents.
   The zoning change was requested by Patrick O'Boyle. Currently the property is zoned R-4 (four units per acre). O'Boyle had hoped to jump zoning on the lower, eastern portion of the trapezoidal shaped property up to R-18.
   Up to 70 percent of the property is unusable due to slopes, wetlands and buffers. The top of the property is steep and covered with trees. O'Boyle was proposing to develop several 'benches' near the base of the property. "I feel very concerned for the safety and well-being of people living on the hillside," Councilmember Solberg said.
   Following a hearing July 16, the Planning Commission forwarded a document to the council saying the proposed changes were not in keeping with the Growth Management Act. According to a recommendation from the commission, "no benefit or best interest was identified that could be traced to the proposed land use change."
   With only 11.5 acres developable, O'Boyle was asking for 10 acres to be zoned R-18, 1.5 acres as R-4, generating a net density of 226 units.
   "Such an effective density is out of character for the area," the commission states.
   The commission also said the change was not concurrent with capital facilities, road and pedestrian path improvements.
   "We believe this change, if approved, will do our [Comprehensive] Plan a disservice and establish a precedent which any developer may wield when requesting a land use and subsequent zoning change," the commission concludes.
   "In this instance I see no reason to oppose the Planning Commissions recommendation," Councilmember Solberg said.
   Councilmembers Solberg, Scott Hageman, Lucy DeYoung and Deputy Mayor Don Brocha voted 4-0 to table the O'Boyle amendment until a later date.
   The council passed other amendments to the Comprehensive Plan including technical changes and updated transportation and growth figures in the first overhaul since adoption last year.