Oakpointe is gearing up to start home construction in the Ten Trails project in Black Diamond — the developer is only waiting for is final authorization by the City Council.
Final plat authorization was submitted by Oakpointe to city staff on Aug. 30, and after staff review, sent to the City Council for action on the Oct. 5 meeting.
The final plat authorization is not for the whole Ten Trails (formerly known as The Villages) project, but for Division 1, an 83-lot section of the project that runs alongside Roberts Drive and the future Willow Avenue Southeast.
Of the 83 plots in Division 1, 65 will be residential, 14 will be commercial, two will be for the Enumclaw School District and two will be for future development.
Work on Ten Trails spans back to December 2010, when the City Council approved a master plan development permit for the project. The council then approved of a development agreement for how much residential and commercial activity will be in Ten Trails in December 2011, and the city’s hearing examiner gave Oakpointe preliminary plat approval in December 2012, if 91 conditions were met.
For close to the next five years, Oakpointe has worked to fulfill the 91 conditions set by the city’s hearing examiner, which includes wetland buffers, space for satellite fire stations, improvements to nearby roads and more.
Both Andy Williamson, the head of the city’s Master Development Review Team working with Oakpointe on this development, and Nancy Rogers, an Oakpointe attorney, said the 91 conditions have been met by the developer at the Oct. 5 meeting.
“All those elements, all those conditions that you see are pertinent to this division, Division 1… have been answered in here,” Williamson said, holding the staff report that was being passed around to council members, adding that bonds have been secured by Oakpointe for the project.
According to Williamson and Rogers, approving this final plat is “ministerial,” and “non-discretionary.”
In short, this means if the council finds all conditions set by the city’s hearing examiner are met, the council must approve the final plat, as stated in RCW 58.17.170(1).
Councilman Brian Weber said he understood the council’s approval of the final plat was ministerial, but still wanted more time to look through the staff report, and moved to postpone action on the final plat until the Oct. 19 meeting.
Councilwoman Erika Morgan seconded Weber’s motion, adding that she wants to, “look at the documentation for each of the conditions separately, and to make sure the answers are there for those conditions,” and confirm that the people who certified these conditions have been met are “willing to stand behind their work.”
Morgan’s statement got a rise out of residents in attendance and a reply from Williamson, who pointed out Dan Ervin (professional engineer and chairman of RH2 and review team consultant), Kerrel Bell (professional land surveyor with Paramatrix, another MDRT consultant), Mountain View Fire and Rescue Chief Greg Smith and Williamson himself certify that all conditions have been met.
Action on the final plat authorization was deferred to the Oct. 19 meeting with a 3-1 vote. Weber, Morgan and Councilwoman Pat Pepper voted to defer action, while Councilwoman Tamie Deady wanted to act on the authorization that day. Councilwoman Janie Edelman was absent.
Rogers, who asked the council to act on the final plat authorization during the meetings first public comment period, was not surprised the council tabled the issue to the next meeting.
She spoke again during the night’s second public comment period, urging the council to act on the final plat authorization before deadline.
In a letter she passed out to the council, Rogers said, “both state and the Black Diamond Municipal Code impose deadlines by which the City Council must act on the final plat. Providing the city with the most lenient possible interpretation of those deadlines, the council must act within sixty days or by Monday, October 30.”
In other council news, a resolution approving repairs for the Police Department roof passed on a 3-1 vote, with only Morgan dissenting.
Additionally, a contract with DKS Associates for their work on the city’s belated Comprehensive Plan remains in a standing committee.
In conjunction with the Ten Trails final plat, Black Diamond and Oakpointe celebrated the opening of a new roundabout at the intersection of Roberts Drive and Lake Sawyer Road on Oct. 4.
The roundabout, paid for by Oakpointe, has several features Williamson and the developer pointed out.
First and foremost, Williamson said the roundabout will make traffic safer and flow faster than the previous stop sign intersection or a traditional stoplight intersection.
“Signals cost more money, signals take more time for maintenance, while roundabouts, once they’re built and once people figure out how to navigate them, they pretty much are maintenance free,” Williamson said.
The construction of the roundabout also allowed construction crews to connect the water main on SR 169 and Roberts Drive to Oakpointe’s Ten Trails housing project. Connecting the projects to this water main, Williamson said, also increased fire flow to the Morganville area of Black Diamond.
The roundabout features a mountable curb to accommodate large trucks and trailers as they go down Roberts Drive. The mountable curb, Williamson added, also means it should be easy for future construction crews to build the roundabout out to a two-lane roundabout, should that be necessary.
Finally, the streetlights surrounding the roundabout have some innovative features of their own.
“Every light pole has a plug-in for either some sort of light decorations for the holiday seasons. There’s banner poles on each one,” Williamson said, adding that his team helped Oakpointe design the light poles for an automatic watering system. “There’s a water line that comes up (though the poles) that’s hooked to the irrigation system, so when that system comes on, it’ll automatically water the flower pots, instead of someone having to drive around repeatedly watering and fertilizing the flowerpots.”