Challenges ahead for subdivision

September 8, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

City development commissioners cautioned a developer about building a subdivision on a steep site near Providence Point, but the project architect said the development would move forward.

Commissioners heard early plans from Issaquah developer Delta Inn Construction for a proposed 46-lot subdivision Aug. 19. Delta Inn plans to use about five acres of the 11.9-acre site for attached dwellings and single-family houses. Lot sizes would range from about 1,800 square feet to about 2,400 square feet.

However, density “depends on the lay of the land and the size and the shape of the lot,” city Senior Planner Marion O’Brien said. She outlined several challenges at the site, including wetlands and trees protected by a new tree ordinance. Hazards related to erosion, landslides and seismic activity are present as well.

Planners said the meeting was a first step ahead of a formal proposal from a developer. No applications have been made related to the project. The meeting was set up to raise questions about the potential project.

The site, in the 22000-24000 block of Southeast 43rd Way, is just south of Providence Point. The road separates the land from the retirement community. The eastern edge of the site borders the Forest Village community. Undeveloped state land borders the southern and western edges of the property.

Bellevue architect Dennis Riebe said he and the developers were prepared to overcome hurdles in order to build at the site. Riebe acknowledged the difficult terrain and potential development challenges. He turned to development commissioners for input.

“We need direction,” he said. “We need some understanding of what is possible, what is not possible.”

Commissioners praised architectural renderings of potential houses in the subdivision. But they asked Riebe to address concerns raised by city planners, Eastside Fire & Rescue and the Sammamish Plateau Water & Sewer District.

The steep terrain at the subdivision site and the clustered nature of the housing units led to concerns related to the placement of water and sewer lines. EFR officials said they worry whether proposed roads would provide enough space for fire trucks to maneuver.

The site is zoned for single-family, small-lot development. Plans call for sensitive areas and buffers to be preserved in protected tracts.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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