King County, local residents reach settlement to allow Passage Point to move forward
January 15, 2010
By Chantelle Lusebrink
UPDATED — 9:25 a.m. Jan. 18, 2010
King County and Cedar Hills Rural Preservation Alliance officials have reached an agreement that will allow YWCA’s Passage Point project to move forward.
The agreement was reached outside the court system and brokered Dec. 29. Details were not released until Wednesday.
The agreement allows for the remodel of the former Cedar Hills Alcohol Treatment Facility, 15900 227th Ave. S.E., into 46 one- and two-bedroom apartments, which will be occupied by men and women recently released from incarceration or hospitalization.
The facility will feature housing, employment and counseling services for men and women who wish to reunite with and act as caregivers to their children.
The new agreement does not allow YWCA officials to add new buildings to the site, nullifying plans to build up to 70 units. It also places new conditions, security measures and communication mandates with neighboring communities.
“Passage Point will go forward according to the conditions of the agreement,” Associate Director of YWCA Homeless Initiatives Linda Rasmussen wrote in an e-mail. “The YWCA is very pleased to be able to pursue this unique project at a location that can provide a high level of supportive services to parents and children.”
King County officials passed nonconforming use permits and transferred property rights to YWCA officials in October 2007. YWCA officials would then reopen the Cedar Hills Alcohol Treatment Facility — which closed in 2002 — as Passage Point.
Members of the Cedar Hills Rural Preservation Alliance filed a lawsuit against the county in Snohomish Superior Court in November 2007 for violating the land-use codes and granting construction permits to the YWCA.
The alliance is made up of individual property owners in the Four Lakes, Cedar Hills and Cedar Mountain neighborhoods, several communities that border the future Passage Point site.
A Snohomish County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the alliance in April. King County officials were in the process of appealing the ruling when officials from both entities started meeting to find an agreement.
The “decision to settle our lawsuit against the YWCA and King County does not reflect any dilution of CHRPA’s enduring conviction that Passage Point’s proposed use of the former Cedar Hills Alcohol Treatment Center (CHAT) does not constitute a legal continuation of the special permit that allowed the CHAT facility to operate until 2001,” alliance officials said in a press release. “Instead, it is a practical and realistic response to an adversary, King County, who having already invested more than $2 million in the Passage Point project, wields both the will and the means to advance the Passage Point agenda — if not now, then soon — regardless of the outcome,” of the lawsuit.
Alliance officials provided these details about the settlement:
- A limit on the number of apartment units to 46.
- No future expansion of the facility beyond its existing footprint and 46 units.
- Demolition of the southernmost building, known as Building H.
- Restrictions to the population: no persons convicted of a serious violent offense, a sex offense or arson.
- Prohibitions against the site being used for sentencing or incarceration.
- Fencing around the entire Passage Point campus.
- Improved landscaping and screening along the eastern boundary.
- A gated entry to the Passage Point campus.
- Background checks and screening and pre-authorization for all visitors.
- Ongoing security training for all staff and volunteers.
- Installation and use of security cameras and an alarm system.
- Coordination with the Issaquah School District to minimize and mitigate the impacts of the school-aged population of Passage Point.
- Reimbursement of the alliances attorney fees and costs.
- Annual reporting by the YWCA, including composition of the population, operating expenses and financial statements shall be provided to the alliance.