Due to work obligations and family conflicts, the officers of the SNC have decided to cancel the December meeting of the Southgate Neighborhood Council. We will plan to meet in January and hold our annual elections then. Please email us if you have any questions.
There are two comment periods on proposed developments closing next week. The first is an apartment complex on Palouse Hwy. just out in the County, the second is the memory care facility on Freya Street. I’ve outlined them briefly below:
Hilby Station 2 Apartments There is a SEPA Comment period open for the proposed Hilby Station Apartments that we heard about last month. This is a 32-unit apartment complex on Palouse Hwy. just south of the intersection of Freya and Palouse Hwy.
The comment period is open till Friday, October 6th and you can submit your comments to the County Planing Department by emailing Dawn Dompier at email@example.com.
Fieldstone Memory Care Conditional Use Permit We have written before about the CUP for the proposed memory care facility at 44th and Freya. The City is now seeking agency comments on the CUP and they are due by close of business Thursday, October 5th. Submit your comments to Stephanie Bishop at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check our Minutes and Agendas page for the agenda for our October meeting and minutes from September.
We will have an update from the Office of Neighborhood Services and a presentation on the South Hill Coalition, its relationship to the neighborhood councils, and how it is implementing the neighborhood plans for the South Hill.
Last week the developers of a proposed memory care facility at Freya and 44th Avenue held a community meeting to discuss the proposed project in advance of their application for a Conditional Use Permit from the City to build the project.
The developers had previously held a community meeting in March and nothing had changed on the site plan. What had changed was they have now purchased the property from the previous owners and completed geotechnical work to assess the rock and soil content on site. Based on that report, they don’t see any issues with moving forward with the project. This site has been the subject of four different proposals for assisted living facilities over the years and combinations of economic health and geotechnical complexity have scuttled all the previous plans.
The developers mentioned that their plan right now is to just construct the main 39,000 sq.ft. facility and not build the three smaller structures on the north side of the property. They may build them eventually, but for now they can make the project pencil out without them. The other buildings would be constructed based on market need for more group family homes in the area.
As it stands, the project will contain 48 units with 60 beds in the main building. They will offer 24/7 nursing care with about 23 people on day shift for a 3 to 1 patient to staff ratio.. The three outbuildings would add an additional 18 beds to the facility.
The final building would look like other facilities managed by Fieldstone in Yakima and other places in Washington. The main building would be a one-story slab-on-grade structure with two wings. The main part of the building is two stories to accommodate an interior promenade and courtyard. The developers say their goal is to retain as much of the mature trees and natural landscape as they can between their facility and the properties to the east and to buffer the visual impact of the facility from Freya with screening trees and shrubs.
There were some questions about the final grade of the site on the north end given the significant natural slope of the property that direction. The developers said there wouldn’t need to be much fill to level the site and that the development wouldn’t impact the 44th Avenue Trail due to a 40′ buffer on the north side of the property. However, looking at the scaled overlay above, it appears the buildings may encroach on the trail more than discussed at the meeting. We are waiting for more detailed site plans that show final contours and grading on site. We would like to maintain as much of a natural buffer along the 44th Avenue Trail as possible. We will post those images when we have them.
As part of their construction the will be completing curb, sidewalk, and planting strips along their property adjacent to Freya to City standards. They also mentioned that their grading an site prep will not include any blasting of basalt rock on site.
For next steps they will be submitting a full application package to the City, there will likely be a traffic impact study and comment period on the Conditional Use Permit once the application has been accepted. We will keep you posted on opportunities to comment.
More Apartments Proposed for Land at 55th and Freya
On Wednesday night Todd Whipple from Whipple Consulting Engineers came to out monthly meeting to discuss a proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment to change the zoning of a 9 acre parcel at the corner of 55th Avenue and Freya from Residential Single Family to High Density Residential.
This parcel is owned by the Moody Bible Institute and it was part of the annexation earlier this year that included the apartments on 55th and the Regal Commons property. The property currently has a radio station on it, but it is zoned for single family homes. This change would allow them to build apartments on the property.
Moody Bible Institute wants to keep the existing buildings on the site, so of the 9 acres only about 8.5 will be available for development. The total number of apartments on site would be between 144 and 188. Mr. Whipple said that they would be market rate apartments, not subsidized. The land has not been sold yet, but Dennis Crapo and Diamond Rock construction are interested in purchasing it to build the apartments. If they were to build a single-family subdivision on the site it would have about 85 homes.
Development of the parcel would include building sidewalks and planting strips along the parcel frontage on Freya Street and 55th Avenue. They will also build 53rd Avenue on the north side of the property to connect to the partially completed 53rd Avenue to the west.
But Wait, There’s More…Apartments
In the course of the meeting Mr. Whipple mentioned that there is a 64 unit apartment complex planned on Palouse Highway just south of Freya Street. These apartments are being built in the County on land already zoned High-density residential. The developer is Lancze Douglass and there should be a public comment period coming very soon.
For the Comp Plan Amendment, Mr. Whipple says they need to supply the City with a trip generation letter (for traffic impacts), submit a non-project SEPA application (which should include a comment period), among other documents. Their deadline for submission is October 31st. SNC will let you know when these comment periods open up. If you have questions or concerns about this, I encourage you to contact our City Council members because they will be the ones to vote on the Comp Plan Amendment next year.