Snoqualmie Mill Site Development moves into Environmental Impact public comment period Living Snoqualmie

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About two thirds of the Mill Site is planned to be kept as open space, including natural areas, trails, habitat and flood storage. The developed area would be done in three stages: Planning area 1, Planning area 2 and then Planning area 3, with less certainty in the latter phases. The phased project is proposed to occur over the next 10 15 years. According to the DEIS, “Planning Area 1 would be developed for a mix of employment, retail, and residential activities, organized in a pedestrian oriented village center adjacent to a ‘main street. ’ Approximately 160housing units are proposed on the second and higher floors of mixed use buildings… Apartments would be for rent, at market rates, and would be a mix of one and two bedroom units, averaging approximately 835 square feet in area.

”Map of the 3 Planning areas of the phased Mill Site Development Project. Planning area 1 would occur first. If Snoqualmie Mill’s vision is realized, the preferred concept for the area will be wine related uses, including wine production, wine tasting and other supportive wine related uses, restaurants, event space and housing. Mill Site Developer Tom Sroufe said multiple wineries had previously shown interest in the potential development, but explained they will have to re evaluate that interest once the economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis shake out. Mill Site Planning Area 1 Conceptual Design – Main Street viewpointRead our previous article on the Envisioned Mill Site Development HERE.

It’s been three years since Snoqualmie Mill Ventures submitted a master development plan application for review by city staff. Since that time the developer has been preparing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The purpose of the DEIS to identify all impacts traffic, water, environmental, pollutants, views, archeological, noise, etc caused by the development and present plans to mitigate negative impacts. Some example mitigation proposals contained in the DEIS include restructuring part of Millpond Road; adding a full stoplight at Fisher Creek and Snoqualmie Parkway intersection; treatment of water that runs off impervious surfaces and into the Snoqualmie River; a bottomless culvert under the realigned portion of SE Mill Pond Road to allow for passage of flood waters, small mammals, carnivores, and amphibians; cleanup and remediation of legacy contamination in Planning Areas 2 and 3 where these contaminants have been located. Developing the DEIS took three years due to the site previously being a lumber mill and thus has environmental and contamination issues; its location adjacent the Snoqualmie River; and the size and lengthy timeframe for the proposed development. The DEIS itself is nearly 3,000 pages including appendices for the large, complicated site.

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Mill Site Developer and North Bend resident, Tom Sroufe, said the DEIS took such a long time because how seriously they took it. He explained they wanted to be thorough, not be surprised by anything. They asked the consultants hired to complete the DEIS to address any impacts ahead of time. The first version of the DEIS was presented to the City of Snoqualmie about a year ago. The city’s consultants then provided comments and further work was done to develop the extensive document.

Sroufe commented, “We did the best we could to identify any impact to the community and believe there are no significant negative impact that cannot be mitigated. ”City of Snoqualmie Community Development Director Mark Hofman explained the project has now entered a legally required public comment period, which will last 45 days. Hofman said the goal now is to get as many eyes on the document as possible to produce as many comments as possible, which will make the EIS even stronger to fully mitigate negative impacts. After the public comment period ends, Mill Site Ventures will then be required to address every comment provided. According to City of Snoqualmie attorney Bob Sterbank, the city will also evaluate the comments received, make any changes it determines appropriate to the various chapters of the DEIS and appendices, and prepare an additional chapter or addendum that includes responses to comments related to factual corrections or where the City determines that the comments does not warrant further response. The City then issues the Final Environmental Impact Statement FEIS.

That FEIS will accompany the proposed Planned Commercial / Industrial Plan PCI Plan when it goes to the Planning Commission for a public hearing. The planning commission will then make a recommendation to the City Council as to whether to approve/accept the PCI Plan and FEIS. A developer agreement is also expected be drafted between the two parties if/when the project moves forward. Written comment on the DEIS taken through June 11th: the review and comment period has been extended from 30 to 45 days for this Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Written comments may be submitted through June 11, 2020 and addressed to Mark Hofman, SEPA Responsible Official, City of Snoqualmie, PO Box 987, Snoqualmie, WA 98065.

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Comments may alternatively be emailed to or . Oral comment taken on May 20th at 4PM: Due to the ongoing COVID 19 emergency and the statewide stay home order, the city will take oral comment during a remote online meeting rather than in person. The meeting is scheduled for May 20, 2020 at 4PM. The city said call in information will be provided at a later date and posted on the city website calendar. Via news release the city state, “Approval of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement would not by itself authorize any physical construction on the site. If approved, Snoqualmie Mill Ventures would need to submit an application to physically develop the property.

” If that application were approved, the site would be redeveloped over a period of approximately 10 to 15 years. For more information, visit the Mill Site Development Project page. Conceptual image of west viewpoint of Mill Site ‘Main Street’ area Some example mitigation proposals contained in the DEIS include restructuring part of Millpond Road; adding a full stoplight at Fisher Creek and Snoqualmie Parkway intersection; treatment of water that runs off impervious surfaces and into the Snoqualmie River; a bottomless culvert under the realigned portion of SE Mill Pond Road to allow for passage of flood waters, small mammals, carnivores, and amphibians; cleanup and remediation of legacy contamination in Planning Areas 2 and 3 where these contaminants have been located. I don’t believe the amphitheater is off the table. In the Master Drainage Plan, Figures 2 2 and 2 3, listed as the Active Landscape Open Space including Public Assembly Areas in light green toward the center of the drawing is clearly the amphitheater.

On page 2 34, it is stated that “The outdoor performance space would be eliminated in this alternative at the request of the applicant”, though on page 2 35 the space is clearly listed. It states there will be a 3. 7 acre grassy area with a 2,000 square foot stage, accommodating 5,000 attendees at concerts to be held twice per week from June through September. On the same page, under 3. , there is a “no action alternative’. It is unclear to me whether the DEIS is being submitted for approval based on the intention to build the outdoor performance space or not.

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The verbiage is self conflicting and ambiguous. Is the amphitheater to be built or not?Does the language indicating that it is allowed remain from earlier presentations because no one thought to remove it, or to allow it to squeak through uncontested?During the last round of presentations and input opportunities, mid year 2017, it was very clear from public input that valley citizens did not want the amphitheater to be allowed as a part of the development. The council chambers were packed by citizens not wanting it. Even Tom Sroufe expressed surprise at the strength of the sentiments. The reasons given were numerous: Traffic, danger from concert attendees leaving concerts intoxicated, and noise, which is my chief concern. I already have to tolerate the over amplified outdoor concerts held at the Snoqualmie Casino, and the Mill is much closer to my home, which is just over a mile from the potential amphitheater per the DEIS maps.

For example the report states the Meadowbrook single lane bridge near our high school is a double lane bridge, which is untrue. This is an very old single lane bridge and the plan directs high traffic volume for cars and heavy trucks over this bridge. The Mill Pond/Borst Lake is not included in the report as an impact while citizens know its history of contamination and that it is in the flood zone which will impact the environment and this development. Citizens are paying a Certified Traffic Engineer and a Land Use Consultant to challenge the inaccuracies and lack of data within this DEIS. Please refer to the GoFundMe website and search the name ” Stop the Mill Madness” to help support our efforts.

The deadline for written public comment to the city is June 11th. I encourage you to write the city and get involved. This is a regional issue and you do not have to be a City of Snoqualmie resident to be involved. Thank you for your help!STOP THE MILL MADNESS on GoFundMe.