Northwest NEWS

July 20, 1998

Valley Special

Council looks at realigning Cherry Valley Road

   by Barbara Sullivan
   Contributing writer

   DUVALL--City planner Eric Jensen has recommended the city evaluate the cost and feasibility of moving Cherry Valley Road to the north, or straight to the west and just south of the pioneer cemetery in part to accommodate a new development.
   At the July 9 council meeting, Jensen said staff had met with developer Larry Worley to discuss Cherry Valley Road and 1st Avenue extension issues. He told councilmembers that Worley is ready to develop his property and now would be the time to coordinate with the city for future development.
   Worley, who wishes to build about a dozen townhomes on his property on the first curve on Cherry Valley Road, has previously petitioned the City Council on alternative ways of improving the road for safety reasons as well as a better route to access SR-203.
   He stated he has King County approved drawings waiting and does not want to be delayed in developing any longer. He said he feels one of the proposals is better than spending a lot of money on widening the existing Cherry Valley Road, which King County will require him to do.
   He is requesting the city annex and vacate the existing portion of Cherry Valley Road in exchange for the 60' right-of-way for a 1st Avenue extension which would occur some time in the future.
   Since his development plans will be impacted by what the city does, he said at the meeting that he is seeking guidance on Duvall's future road development plans, specifically the possibility of annexing in and then abandoning the curved portion of Cherry Valley Road.
   Currently the county owns the road. Realignment of Cherry Valley Road would have to coincide with the vacation of the existing Cherry Valley Road. The city would first need to annex the existing portion of the road from the county.
   Mayor Glen Kuntz said he does not feel comfortable in annexing the road at this time.
   "If we (the city) annex in Cherry Valley Road, the problem becomes ours," said Kuntz.
   Proposals include plans to develop 1st Avenue all the way through, hook into the straight portion of Cherry Valley Road and continue up through the Dougherty property to reconnect with SR-203.
   But several substantial problems arise from that concept, not the least of which is a landowner right in the middle of where 1st Avenue would logically run, who is not interested in selling.
   And part of the Dougherty property was purchased with open space funds. To build a road on it would cost the city thousands in back taxes.
   Concern about the price and the effectiveness of the project was voiced by various council members.
   City engineer Elizabeth Goode said she would have a proposed scope and budget for the study at the next council meeting.
   Worley also agreed to split the cost of a comparison study on re-developing the road with the city.
   City assistant planner Camille Chriest said in a later interview that the city and county at some point in the future intend to reroute the road to the north or west, but that it would be "enormously costly."
   She added the city is looking at "going straight down the hill, but it is probably too steep. And the north route would require going into the flood plain." In other council business: