Kagi says bill aimed at getting Snohomish County to negotiate over Point Wells

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According a story posted by Evan Smith on Shoreline Area News, State Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32nd) says that the aim of a bill she introduced Monday is to get Snohomish County to start negotiating with the cities of Shoreline and Woodway over development of Point Wells.

House Bill 1265 limits development at a place like Point Wells to the density of adjoining cities unless the county it’s in reaches an inter-local agreement with nearby cities on urban services and the impact on those cities. That means that Point Wells could not be developed beyond the density of Woodway unless Snohomish County’s government negotiates an interlocal agreement with Shoreline and Woodway on mitigation of the impacts of the development.

Kagi told Smith Thursday that the aim of the legislation is to get Snohomish County to start talking about a memorandum of understanding, and, she said, it’s already having that effect.

A Snohomish County councilman already has called a Shoreline official about Point Wells, she said Thursday.

Co-sponsors of the bill include State Rep. Cindy Ryu, who, like Kagi, represents Shoreline, Woodway and the rest of the 32nd Legislative District. Other co-sponsors are two Edmonds-area legislators — Reps. Marko Liias and Mary Helen Roberts of the 21st District — and four members of the House committee on local government, including Committee Chairman Dean Takko.

Having Takko as a co-sponsor virtually guarantees a hearing before the Local Government Committee, Kagi said.

The owners of Point Wells, a former industrial property on the shores of Puget Sound in unincorporated Southwest Snohomish County, have proposed building a mixed-use development that would include 3,000 housing units.

Snohomish County recently re-zoned Point Wells for urban-center land use. Property-tax money from the development would go to Snohomish County.

Point Wells is in Woodway’s urban-growth area, but the only access is along Richmond Beach Road Northwest in Shoreline.

The bill applies to “unincorporated portions of urban growth areas that: border Puget Sound; are surrounded on land entirely by one or more cities, are one or more miles from any other portion of an urban growth area that is in unincorporated territory; and are 50 or more acres in size.

Kagi said that Point Wells is the only place that fits the description.
The digest of the bill follows:

HB 1265 – DIGEST

Prohibits the maximum residential density of an unincorporated portion of an urban growth area from exceeding that of the immediately adjacent areas of the abutting city or cities.

Here’s a link to download the text of the bill, but the key section says the following:
(a)… the maximum residential density of an unincorporated portion of an urban growth area may not exceed that of the immediately adjacent areas of the abutting city or cities.
(b)  Subsection (a) of this section applies only to unincorporated portions of urban growth areas that:
(i) Border the Puget Sound;
(ii) Are surrounded on the landward side entirely by one or more cities;
(iii) Are one or more miles from any other portion of an urban growth area that is in unincorporated territory; and
(iv) Are fifty or more acres in size.
(c)  This subsection (9) does not apply to otherwise qualifying areas if the county has entered into an inter-local agreement under chapter 39.34 RCW with the city or cities surrounding the urban growth area that stipulates:
(i) Urban governmental services will be provided by the surrounding city or cities; and
(ii) limitations on and mitigation of transportation impacts on the roads and impacts on the park facilities of the surrounding city or cities.

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