Council likes concept of housing diversity

A majority of the City Council decided diversity in Enumclaw’s housing inventory is important and rejected a developer’s request to increase the number of contemporary houses on the growing east side.

The action came during the council’s regularly-scheduled meeting Oct. 11.

On the agenda was a request from the backers of Suntop Farms Division II, which sits just north of Warner Avenue and east of Watson Street. They were hoping to modify plans for the 15-acre parcel, dropping the proposal from 72 lots to 64 lots.

The sticking point was the change in some of the proposed housing. With the modification, developers wished to eliminate 21 lots designed for cottage-style homes, which call for garages in the rear. The design is generally seen as reminiscent of neighborhoods from days gone by. The ordinance facing the council changed those 21 lots to 15 larger lots designed for modern homes with garages dominating the front of the abode.

By a 4-3 margin, the council rejected the proposed change.

Leading the way was Councilman Sean Krebs, who argued that the Planned Unit Development concept was designed to create diversity in housing. The Suntop Farms request, he maintained, worked against that philosophy, adding more homes of newer, similar design.

“I don’t believe this is in the best interest of the city of Enumclaw,” he said.

Sharing his view were council members Richard Elfers, Glen Jensen and Jim Hogan. Voting in the minority to allow the change were Kevin Mahelona, Mike Ennis and Jeff Beckwith.

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