More land annexed into Enumclaw, housing development proposed

Enumclaw City Council members addressed a pair of land-use issues during their most recent gathering, debating the merits of a planned 48-home development on Semanski Street after casting a final vote to annex a 92-acre parcel into the city limits.

The proposed housing development, going by the name Liberty Meadows, covers 9.85 acres immediately east of Semanski Street and north of Laukala Place.

The item was before the council April 25 for preliminary plat approval and ignited a few questions. Some wondered about the street plan – particularly an area that includes a pair of narrow, dead-end streets – and most expressed concern about the impact a total build-out would have on neighborhood traffic. It was noted the development would be served by two access points onto already-busy Semanski Street.

Of key concern was the intersection of Semanski and Warner Avenue, where Enumclaw High School sits on the southwest corner. Traffic is at its worst in the morning and mid-afternoon.

City streets are graded according to the volume of traffic and their ability to handle the vehicular load. The Semanski/Warner intersection already carries a D grade and, with an additional 48 homes nearby, would slip to an F.

Councilmen talked during the April 25 meeting about the future need for traffic control, specifically mentioning the possibility of a roundabout or traffic light.

It also was noted the Enumclaw School District had voiced concerns about overcrowding, given the possibility of Liberty Meadows on top of the Suntop Farms development under way on the city’s east side. A voluntary mitigation of nearly $1,100 per lot was agreed upon to provide portable capacity at district schools.

Council members will address the Liberty Meadows preliminary plat again during their Monday meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at Enumclaw City Hall.

The six councilmen present – Jim Hogan was excused – wasted little time giving final approval to the Lundeen Annexation.

The issue had been winding its way through city channels since October 2009.

The Lundeen Annexation comprises 50 parcels of land, now home to nearly 100 people. The area runs north-south and is largely east of Porter Street, with one small portion on the west side of the busy road, which also serves as state Route 169. About half of the area under consideration belongs to the Enumclaw School District and is home to Thunder Mountain Middle School.

It has been mentioned during council sessions that the Lundeen Annexation could be the last for a while. It is the third annexation allowed since the city called off a moratorium on both annexation and developments.

First came the Harkness Annexation that straddled both sides of 244th Avenue Southeast and added approximately 300 acres to the city’s land roster. That was followed by the much smaller Abbott-Blick Annexation on the south side of Southeast 432nd Street, stretching east from 286th Avenue Southeast, that added 12 acres.

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