Developer of controversial affordable housing community schedules open house

Public session scheduled one day after project is presented to City Council
By Dan Aznoff | Feb 15, 2019
Courtesy of: The Farm

The development firm behind a proposed mixed-use complex near The Vintage community on the eastern border of Mill Creek has scheduled an open house to address the fears of residents and outline the benefits of the affordable housing venture can bring to the city.

The public session to display plans for The Farm is 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Mill Creek Senior Center in the lobby of The Vintage at 4111 133rd St. SE. The building site plan application for The Farm calls for the complex to be built adjacent to the Vintage at 3830 and 4008 132nd St. SE.

The open house has been scheduled 23 hours after the Mill Creek City Council is expected to receive its first presentation on the site plan for the project. The special meeting of the City Council is Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the City Council chambers at City Hall.

The presentation originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12, was postponed due to weather. A date for a second meeting, scheduled Tuesday, Feb. 26, has not been rescheduled.

The Farm has been the source of unwarranted public concern at recent meetings of the City Council, according to spokespeople for the developer and the city.

“Contrary to some concerns voiced (by concerned neighbors), this project is far from final approval,” according to a statement the City released Wednesday, Feb. 13. “The City’s development code describes a process that the City must follow when an application is received. “

In addition, according to the City, because this proposed development is in the specialized zoning area – the East Gateway Urban Village – it requires a development agreement that must be negotiated between the City and the developer.

If built, plans for The Farm includes 256 apartment units and 26 live/work units on the 17-acre site. The community will also have 472 surface parking stalls and 647 spaces in a parking garage.

The developer has also agreed to include wetland buffer mitigation, stormwater facilities, public plazas and open space with landscaping and walking paths.

Access to the site would be on a new public road connection to 132nd Street SE (SR 96) at the signalized intersection at 39th Avenue SE.

The Farm is an affordable housing option designed to serve as workforce housing that would reserve units for people at one of two levels below the medium income for the surrounding community, developers say.

The options under consideration would provide either 20 percent or 100 percent of the units for residents at 60 percent of the medium income.

City staff from Mill Creek accepted a development application for the project in April 2018.

A technical review was completed in late spring to ensure plans were compliant with critical wetlands adjacent to the property. The City is expecting a revised application to be submitted before the end of this summer. A public hearing on the project would be scheduled at that time.

If the development agreement is approved, the proposal would then be subject to an environmental analysis, with additional time for public input. The entire project would then be reviewed by a third-party examiner with a 10-day notice of any public hearing on the results.

Residents can attend both the open house and the council meeting to learn more about the project.

Additional information will be updated on the city website.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Michael Scherping | Mar 13, 2019 18:28

The developer has backpeddled considerably from the quality of the original plan and many amenities. Not only has he stripped much of the content from the overall design (as he would lay claim to “modernize” it because people like minimalism these days), he has taken away much of the parking, landscaping details, the boardwalks over the wetlands and the water feature (not to be confused with a drinking fountain).  Some meandering walkways have been replaced with right-angle, geometric blunders where most people just assume cut through the grass. The siding has been cheapened with less variety of architectural details such as eliminating the vertical and horizontal siding in favor of just one type, and plastic as it would appear. The brick also no longer extends beyond the first floor and there store fronts are all the same cookie-cutter style. Nothing hat resembles what is in our Comprehensive plan.

Furthermore, this development is so far off scale for the area and our challenges (schools, infustructure, traffic, ect.). It’s like placing a watermelon on top of a cupcake. An ugly one at that.



Posted by: Michael Scherping | Mar 13, 2019 18:29

The developer has backpeddled considerably from the quality of the original plan and many amenities. Not only has he stripped much of the content from the overall design (as he would lay claim to “modernize” it because people like minimalism these days), he has taken away much of the parking, landscaping details, the boardwalks over the wetlands and the water feature (not to be confused with a drinking fountain).  Some meandering walkways have been replaced with right-angle, geometric blunders where most people just assume cut through the grass. The siding has been cheapened with less variety of architectural details such as eliminating the vertical and horizontal siding in favor of just one type, and plastic as it would appear. The brick also no longer extends beyond the first floor and there store fronts are all the same cookie-cutter style. Nothing hat resembles what is in our Comprehensive plan.

Furthermore, this development is so far off scale for the area and our challenges (schools, infustructure, traffic, ect.). It’s like placing a watermelon on top of a cupcake. An ugly one at that.



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