Council takes action on two Enumclaw development projects

With one housing development springing to life on Semanski Street, another longstanding proposal was granted a last-minute reprieve.

With one housing development springing to life on Semanski Street, another longstanding proposal was granted a last-minute reprieve.

A planned conversion of nearly 10 acres of vacant land into 37 residential lots was addressed Feb. 22 by the Enumclaw City Council. With plans for the project set to expire the following day, the council took steps to keep the project on the books for another four years.

Plans for the Semanski Farms development landed in the city’s lap in 2008 and were approved in 2009. The project calls for 37 single-family homes with all the necessary infrastructure – things like streets and sewer lines. The process moved through city channels just in time to be derailed by the economic downturn that crushed the housing industry.

With things looking up, the project sponsor intends to get rolling. The city has been told construction should begin next year and be completed in 2018.

On the evening of Feb. 22, the assembled council had two options: the existing plan could expire, forcing the development to start from scratch; or, the council could declare an emergency, bypass some normal procedures, and extend the preliminary plan already on the books.

The council chose the second route, giving the developer another 48 months.

“This is a time for Enumclaw to step up and be friendly to developers,” Councilwoman Juanita Carstens said, moments before the extension passed 5-1.

The dissenting voice came from Councilwoman Kimberly Lauk. Requiring the developer to go through the application process again would mean some new regulations would have to be met, she said.

The acreage in question fronts Semanski Street and is directly north of the Liberty Meadows subdivision, now under construction.

In other action during their Feb. 22 meeting, council members:

• heard from Michelle Larson, the city’s recreation manager, who told of improvements coming to the community garden.

The garden, commonly known as the Pea Patch, consists of 27 small parcels that are made available to citizens for a modest rental fee. The garden is on city-owned land directly behind the public library.

Larson explained that garden organizers have proposed an exterior fence and an additional water source. The group landed a $10,000 grant from the Satterburg Foundation to pay for the work.

Both Larsen and City Attorney Mike Reynolds assured the council all improvements are designed to be temporary. It’s assumed the land will be developed in the future.

“It’s one of those win-wins for the community,” Larsen concluded.

• approved a two-year contract with Krista White Swain who will continue her work as the city’s Municipal Court prosecutor.

Reynolds has held that responsibility since 1980, but turned the prosecuting duties over to Swain during the latter part of 2015. It was part of a plan that would allow someone new to transition into the role while allowing Reynolds to serve as a mentor.

Reynolds has maintained his contract with the city and paid Swain to perform the prosecutor’s duties. With the council’s vote on Feb. 22, Swain takes over the contract, which calls for payment of $4,000 per month, plus additional payment for work done outside regular court hours or in other courts.

Swain performs the same duties for other cities in the area and has earned positive reviews during her time with Enumclaw. A memo to the council from City Administrator Chris Searcy notes he has received “very positive feedback from the court staff and police department” with regard to Swain’s performance.

More in News

Black Diamond hits the reset button

The new Black Diamond City Council wasted no time on settling in and testing the political waters. On their first meeting of the year, new Councilwomen Melissa Oglesbee and Erin Stout and returning Councilwomen Tamie Deady and Janie Edelman marched through a long list of agenda items, many of which reversed council policies and goals set over the last two years.

Citizen group urges council to start pool planning

With the Sumner High School pool closing at the end of the 2018-2019 swim season, residents are asking the City of Bonney Lake to build a city pool to house the Panther and Spartan swim teams. A presentation on why the council should start planning a pool as quickly as possible is being held Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Teacher, student reconnect at living center after 66 years

A person can change in 66 years. At the very least, they’re going to look pretty different. So when Robert Terrell, 96, and Margaret (Peggy) Burley, 75, ran into each other at Bonney Lake’s Cedar Ridge assisted living facility last August, neither of them realized they had met before — at an elementary school, where he was a fourth-grade teacher, and she was a part of his first ever class.

Former Plateau resident lands role with Marvel T.V. series

McKay Stewart, who spent much of his childhood in Enumclaw and Bonney Lake, will be joining the Marvel universe in a new episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airing Friday, Jan. 19.

Library’s art and writing contest returns to Pierce County | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County teens are encouraged to express themselves through writing, painting, drawing and more for the annual Our Own Expressions competition, hosted by the Pierce County Library System.

Sumner School District seeks name ideas for new elementary school

Want to name your new local school? Just fill out a short form by Jan. 26

Judge reproaches Black Diamond mayor, former city council majority

In a summary judgement hearing, King County Superior Court Judge Janet Helson said she was troubled by both the actions of Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson and former City Council majority Pat Pepper, Brian Weber, and Erika Morgan over the last two years concerning potential Open Public Meetings Act violations.

Man shot in Burnett; suspect turns himself in

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the victim was driven to the Burnett Store in order to report he was shot by his brother. The suspect turned himself in approximately three hours later.

Garbage, water, sewer rates increase in Enumclaw

Having made the leap into a new year, Enumclaw property owners are now seeing increases to nearly all their utility rates. Here’s a look at the 2018 increases for city services, along with the financial impact on customers.

Most Read