MAPLE VALLEY CITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZES CITY MANAGER TO SIGN
A MITIGATION AGREEMENT WITH YARROWBAY
On October 6, 2010, the Maple Valley City Council, by Resolution R-10-783 [PDF], authorized the City Manager to sign a mitigation agreement with YarrowBay Holdings. The mitigation agreement specifies YarrowBay's financial contribution - as a percentage of the cost - toward fifteen road projects within Maple Valley. These fifteen projects were identified as necessary mitigations from YarrowBay's master planned communities in Black Diamond.
Mitigation Agreement [PDF 11.7 MB]
The City of Black Diamond received applications for two Master Planned Developments (MPDs) in April, 2009. For more information, please click on this link: www.ci.blackdiamond.wa.us/Depts/CommDev/mpd_page.html
The MPD applications are for The Villages and Lawson Hills. The developer is YarrowBay Holdings, through two affiliated corporations, BD Lawson Partners, LP and BD Village Partners, LP. A Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) was issued by the City of Black Diamond on December 11, 2009. The FEIS was appealed, and closed record appeal hearings began March 6, 2010 before Phil Olbrechts, Hearing Examiner. The open record hearings on the MPDs also began on March 6, 2010.
The Hearing Examiner’s recommendations on both MPDs were issued approximately May 10, 2010. The recommendations were used by the Black Diamond City Council for their consideration, and ultimate decision, on the MPD applications. The Black Diamond City Council’s closed record hearings on the recommendations began June 21, 2010. Those hearings closed on July 14, 2010 and the Black Diamond City Council began their deliberations on the recommendations. The decision by the Black Diamond City Council was made September 20, 2010, in the form of Ordinance O-10-946 (The Villages) [PDF 3.4 MB] and Ordinance O-10-947 (Lawson Hills) [PDF 4.6 MB]. These two Ordinances granted permit approval, adopted findings of fact, conclusions of law, and imposed conditions on each permit.
The Lawson Hills MPD and The Villages MPD, combined, propose to add 6,050 single and multi-family residences within Black Diamond, and to build 1.1 million square feet of commercial/office/retail space. It is anticipated that at full build out, over 15,000 new residents would be added to the Black Diamond population, currently shown as 4,120 on the City of Black Diamond website. Adding an additional 15,000 people requires the construction of infrastructure such as roads, sewer systems, stormwater treatment facilities and schools. The residential portion of these MPDs represents the biggest master planned community ever proposed within King County.
Facts about The Villages and Lawson Hills:
- The Villages: 1,196 acres, 3,600 single family residences, 1,200 multi-family residences, 450,000 s.f. office, 325,000 s.f. retail
- Lawson Hills: 371 acres, 930 single family residences, 320 multi-family residences
For a link to the City of Black Diamond’s web page on the MPD applications, the FEIS information, Hearing Examiner recommendation, etc., click here: http://www.ci.blackdiamond.wa.us/Depts/CommDev/mpd_page.html
Maple Valley’s Concern and Participation:
Maple Valley became a party of record in the open record MPD hearings before the Hearing Examiner for Black Diamond. Maple Valley submitted evidence about the traffic impacts from these MPDs on Maple Valley’s roads. The City's expert, Natarajan Janarthanan, Ph.D., modeled the vehicle trips projected to travel from Black Diamond onto Maple Valley’s roads, and analyzed the intersections that would fail because of the increased traffic. In addition to the testimony by Maple Valley’s expert on this matter, there was testimony by King County, WSDOT, and other traffic experts.
Maple Valley identified several failing intersections, and requested more mitigation for traffic impacts than what was requested by City of Black Diamond staff. Maple Valley’s key evidence can be located on this website, under the heading: Maple Valley’s Evidence, below.
The Black Diamond Hearing Examiner’s Recommendation:
Phil Olbrechts, the Black Diamond Hearing Examiner, received testimony from parties of record for purposes of the FEIS appeals, and he received testimony during the open record hearings on the MPD applications. These were separate hearings, but were consolidated together, and occurred in March and April, 2010. Under the Black Diamond Municipal Code, the Hearing Examiner is the final decision maker for purposes of the FEIS appeal. For purposes of the open record hearings, the Hearing Examiner takes testimony, and makes a recommendation to the Black Diamond City Council. After receiving the recommendation, the Black Diamond City Council scheduled oral argument from parties of record (those who participated in the open record hearings before the Hearing Examiner). Oral argument occurred in June and July, 2010. After the close of oral argument, the Black Diamond City Council began deliberating on the applications, and the Hearing Examiner’s recommendations.
In regards to transportation, the Hearing Examiner recommended creation of a new traffic model, largely based on the traffic model utilized by Maple Valley’s expert. The Hearing Examiner recommended that the new model be used to determine traffic impacts, and from there, to determine mitigations for those impacts. The impacts were to be determined and mitigation measures developed prior to YarrowBay being allowed to do any development.
The Hearing Examiner’s recommendations appear below. See Finding of Fact 5.B., and Recommendations 10 through 35, The Villages. The same recommendations were incorporated into the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation for Lawson Hills.
The Villages Recommendation:
Lawson Hills Recommendation:
Maple Valley’s Evidence:
- March 12 Declaration, with exhibits, of Dr. Janarthanan, the City of Maple Valley’s Transportation expert [PDF]
- March 17 Declaration of Dr. Janarthana, the City of Maple Valley’s Transportation expert [PDF]
- April 2, 2010 Declaration of Dr. Janarthanan, the City of Maple Valley’s Transportation expert [PDF]
- City of Maple Valley’s briefing to the Hearing Examiner [PDF]
- City of Maple Valley’s second briefing to the Hearing Examiner [PDF]
- Maple Valley’s Brief to the Black Diamond City Council [PDF]