News

Assisted living facility on edge

By Brian Beckley

The Courier-Herald

A Comprehensive Plan amendment submitted by Bart Tracy could, if approved, lead to the construction of an assisted living facility along the bluffs of the plateau to the north of state Route 410, across from Ascent Park.

The structure, as proposed, would be the tallest building in Bonney Lake, standing five stories high.

City staff, however, is recommending against approval of the comp plan amendment by the City Council.

Though not an official proposal, Tracy's comprehensive plan amendment lays out a vision for his parcel: An assisted living facility that would hold approximately 200 people in more than 70 condominium-like units.

Officially, Tracy is requesting the city council change the future land use component of the comprehensive plan from conservation/open space to high-density residential. The property is currently zoned low-density residential is part of the "steep slopes" section of the city along the plateau wall.

"The reason we want to put it there instead of anywhere else in the city is it's got an incredible view," Tracy said.

Tracy also said his project would fill a needed niche in the area.

"This would be the first of its kind anywhere in the valley," he said. "This will fulfill an important need for the city of Bonney Lake."

A staff report on the proposed change, however, is recommending the planning commission not approve the amendment.

"In balance, the proposal is not consistent with the goals of the comprehensive plan," the report reads.

According to the report, the project seems to go against the plan's "small town, natural environment" theme, which seeks to protect natural features and natural areas, especially those visible to the public.

Though the project would help the city meet the density goals laid out in the Growth Management Act, the building would not be near shopping centers, employment or public transportation, all things encouraged by the city for a high-density housing development.

"In balance, the proposal's negative points outweigh its positive points," the report reads.

Tracy said he will continue to try and develop the property should his comprehensive plan amendment not be approved, building single-family residential homes on the 3.6 acres instead of an assisted living facility.

"It's going to get developed one way or another," he said.

There are also plans to develop much of the other land on the north side of SR410.

Brian Beckley can be reached at bbeckley@courierherald.com.

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