Northwest NEWS

August 2, 1999

Front Page

Duvall Council enacts six-month development moratorium for sewer study

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   DUVALL--A six-month emergency moratorium on development in the city was adopted by the City Council on July 8, pending analysis of the sewage treatment plant.

   City officials say they are stopping development in order to prevent further overburdening of the wastewater treatment plant. The moratorium will prevent any new applications from being filed, but will not affect completed applications from proceeding.

   "In general, we have gone through a lot of growth," said City Engineer Elizabeth Goode. "When all the projects we have accepted applications on are completed, the sewage treatment plant will be at the Department of Ecology (DOE) permit limits."

   Goode said the DOE is changing what its parameters are and is looking to protect the total length of the river, including investigating what each city is discharging into the river.

   "It's called 'total maximum daily loading' and relates to river health and ecology," she said.

   Duvall's population is about 4,300 now, she said, adding that all applied-for projects, when completed, will bring the city to about 6,600.

   "The sewer plant will dictate how fast we will grow," she said. "We had to draw the line somewhere."

   She added that the city will be hiring a capital project manager to look at an expansion of the plant. "We are asking how big do we want it to be and how much is it going to cost, including how to finance it," she said.

   Duvall's Comprehensive Plan has scheduled the city to reach 9,000 population by the year 2012. "We are still okay in terms of meeting growth requirements through the Growth Management Act (GMA)," she said.

   City Planner Eric Jensen said that Duvall is 7 to 8 years into a county 20-year plan established by the King County Growth Management Planning Council. "We have grown at a faster rate than initial projections," he said. "The population is already reaching 60 percent of the projected population."

   He said that with all projects in the "development pipeline," population will be at 6,600 in two to three years.

   "The moratorium at this point doesn't preclude the city's ability to reach its projected population growth in that 20 year time," he said. "We want to provide sewage capacity to reach such a goal and we have time to reach it. We don't have to change our projections--we have to look at the long term."

   The moratorium prevents filing of applications for short plats, subdivisions, binding site plans or site plan review, planned unit developments, master site plans, shoreline permits, new building permits, annexations, or rezones, except those initiated by the city.

   A public hearing on the moratorium is set for August 26.