Snoqualmie Affordable Housing Project one step closer to reality; conditional use permit approved
A proposed Snoqualmie Valley affordable housing project moved one step closer to reality this week, but construction could still months away.
The City of Snoqualmie posted a Notice of Decision this week stating that a Hearing Examiner has signed off on a Conditional Use Permit requested by Panorama Apartments, LLC for their proposed 191-unit Affordable Housing development to be located in the Eagle Pointe neighborhood of Snoqualmie Ridge. Panorama is a subsidiary of DevCo, which also built Discovery Heights in the Issaquah Highlands.
Panorama was seeking a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow four-story building heights for five of the apartment complex’s 11 buildings. In November, two public hearings regarding the Conditional Use Permit were held in front of the Hearing Examiner at Snoqualmie City Hall.
The Notice of Decision now starts an appeals period regarding the Examiner’s decision, which must be filed within 14 days of the February 2nd publication of the Notice. According to the notice, “appeals must be filed in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 14.40 Snoqualmie Municipal Code and must set forth the factual and legal basis for the appeal.”
The Conditional Use Permit is the last step before Panorama Homes can move toward actual construction. Other minor modifications for the project – including one to establish net developable acreage and a Wall Height Waiver to increase retaining wall heights above six feet on the sloped site – were signed off on by Community Development Director Mark Hofman in late September.
If the Hearing Examiner’s CUP decision is appealed, the quasi-judicial issue would be heard before City Council. The council would then take final action on the appeal.
According to Hofman, the developer is waiting to see what develops during the Notice of Decision appeal period before investing in civil and building permit drawings, which are expensive and time intensive to complete. He explained via email, “Therefore, that activity usually waits for assurance that all the elements of their General Land Use Permit is in place.”
Hofman confirmed that Panorama has their funding in place, which include Federal Tax Credits, and remains intent on a 2018 construction start timeframe.
Proposed Panorama Apartments Affordable Housing Project
The 191-unit apartment complex would be located on land parcel S-20 of Snoqualmie Ridge, downhill from an adjoining Eagle Pointe neighborhood and near the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital. The city council designated the parcel to hold affordable housing a few years ago.
According to the city, the land parcel cannot be used for other purposes due to a 25-year covenant recorded against the property’s title, which limits the parcel’s uses to affordable, multi-family rental apartment housing.
Once built the project will fulfill the affordable housing program requirements for the Snoqualmie Ridge II master-planned community.
As of last year, the developer planned to have all 191 units available to people whose income is below the 60% AMI (Area Median Income) level.
In 2017 the King County region AMI for a family of four was set at $96,000 – meaning a family of four with a household annual income of $57,600 or less would qualify for the proposed project. [That AMI could increase in coming years, though.]
Median income guidelines are determined by household size and adjusted annually when the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determines the AMI for all metropolitan regions in the country.
For more information visit the city’s Affordable Housing in Snoqualmie website page.