Sumner passes comprehensive plan amendments

The Sumner City Council passed three amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan last week, changing the way some land will be used.

The Sumner City Council passed three amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan last week, changing the way some land will be used.

A comprehensive plan contains long-term development goals and designates specific land parcels for different types of use.

The council considered four amendments, which were a proposal to rezone land along 3206 West Valley Highway to be light industrial/manufacturing; rezoning land at 914 Meeker St. to be central business district; creating an urban village overlay district on 90 acres near 14218 Stewart Rd.; and adding a low-density residential-3 designation on approximately 265 acres.

An amendment to designate 16 acres of land from low density residential and general commercial to light industrial at 3206 West Valley Highway failed.

The land includes wetlands, steep slope areas and a single-family home.

Sumner’s planning commission recommended approval of this amendment with conditions including limiting development on steep slopes.

The land at Meeker Avenue, where Good Samaritan is located, is to be rezoned as central business district to allow construction of 20 parking spaces for the clinic.

Councilmember Larry Goff stated from personal experience, there is a need for more parking at the clinic.

The construction of spaces requires the demolition of a vacant house on the property and Good Samaritan representatives stated the clinic’s owners will maintain the area.

Regarding the Stewart Road project, the amendment passed containing a combination of alternative versions.

A version of the amendment called Alternative 2, included 90 acres and more land in a designated public/private utilities and facilities zone. This land is 28.39 acres along the north end of the golf course. The proposal will rezone it with an urban village designation.

An urban village designation would allow greater flexibility and work toward the city’s goal of a “complete community,” with consistent design including housing shops, workplaces, schools, parks, and more required for the daily lives of residents. City staff suggested Alternative 2 in order to form a cross-roads and neighborhood center and to connect to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line across the Sumner Municipal Golf Course.

Council approved Alternative 3, which includes the area south of Stewart Road in Alternative 2 plus 4.7 acres along the railroad tracks. City staff recommended approving Alternative 3 to reduce population in the area and reduce the impacts on city services.

Greenwater LLC requested the amendment in order to be more flexible with types of construction. Future development on the rezoned land will likely be a mix of commercial and multi-family residential use.

The estimate for density over a 20-year buildout period under Alternative 3 is 720 to 1,200 units, or a population of 1,728 to 2,880.

Future plans include a second train station in the vicinity of Stewart Road for commuter rail.

“You could have, conceivably, a train station and offer some sort of potential connection, with development,” Sumner Planning Manager Ryan Windish said.

Planning already started for the project, but funding is needed.

City staff recommends continuing to examine potential for a larger urban village area north of Stewart Road to match the city’s long-term vision.

The effect of the expansion on services such as the police was a concern addressed by council.

Sumner Police Chief John Galle said eventually, more officers would be needed to accommodate the growth, but there is no city code requiring a specific ratio of officers to citizens.

A fourth amendment is a comprehensive plan map amendment redesignation of approximately 265 acres of low density residential 2 (LDR-2) to a new low density residential 3 (LDR-3).

Windish said Green-water’s plan is to construct 324 apartment units and 84,000 square feet of office space, possibly as early as late 2009.

Concerns were raised over the amount of density at the golf course and the state of the road, which Mayor Dave Enslow felt cannot adequately support the project.

“I’m concerned about the fact it’s on Stewart Road,” Enslow said. “Here we have 1,000 people about to go on a road that works very poorly.”

The passing of amendments concluded months of work by city council and staff, Enslow said.

Reach Chaz Holmes at cholmes@courierherald.com or 360-802-8208.

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