City planners consider proposal to build subdivision on steep site

July 26, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

The city Planning Department could decide soon on a 43-lot subdivision near Providence Point, but the site along Southeast 43rd Way could pose challenges.

Bellevue architect Dennis Riebe proposed the subdivision on 11.97 unoccupied acres along the south side of the street, across from Providence Point and west of the Forest Village neighborhood.

The project proposal includes single-family detached residences and townhouses. The site is zoned for single-family homes on small lots.

The plan also includes proposals for road-frontage improvements and access to Southeast 43rd Way.

The applicant outlined plans for outdoor common areas and landscaping in the project.

In addition to measures designed to protect critical areas, such as wetlands, the applicant also asked to reduce buffers for some steep slopes on the site.

The land includes possible hurdles to construction, such as trees protected under a strict city ordinance and wetlands. Hazards related to erosion, landslides and seismic activity also exist due to the terrain.

In August 2009, city development commissioners lauded proposed designs for homes in the subdivision, but cautioned project backers about building a neighborhood on such a steep site.

Eastside Fire & Rescue and Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District officials also questioned the project then.

The terrain and plan to cluster housing units prompted concerns related to the placement of water and sewer lines. EFR officials raised questions about streets inside the subdivision offering enough room for emergency vehicles to maneuver.

The applicant also submitted a draft development agreement for the site. Planners intend to review the draft agreement alongside the application to see if the proposal meets city rules for cluster housing.

Planners sent notice of the project to property owners within 300 feet of the site. The state owns undeveloped land to the south and west of the 11.97-acre parcel.

The city is also planning to accept comments about the proposal during a public hearing at a Development Commission meeting. The hearing has yet to be scheduled.

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

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