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Affordable Housing in Snoqualmie / Imagine Housing

This page includes information about affordable housing in Snoqualmie and a potential affordable housing apartment complex to be developed by Imagine Housing. Please read below the background and answers to frequently asked questions. 

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Imagine Housing, a provider of affordable housing on King County’s Eastside, is in the planning stage of a proposed affordable housing apartment complex to be built adjacent to the Eagle Pointe neighborhood of Snoqualmie Ridge on parcel S-20.

At the June 11, 2012 meeting of the Snoqualmie City Council, Imagine Housing provided background information about the organization’s mission and current communities and presented conceptual plans for the proposed project. Following the presentation, the City Council determined that Imagine Housing needed to further research the scope of the project before moving forward. Since then, Imagine Housing has revisited its plan and has presented the new concepts at two community outreach meetings in Snoqualmie, one on February 6 at the Snoqualmie Community Center/YMCA and the other on February 20 at Snoqualmie City Hall.

City of Snoqualmie leaders believe that affordable housing is consistent with the community's values. It will ensure that Snoqualmie is an open and accessible community for working families and individuals earning lower than median incomes to secure convenient and livable housing.

There was a town hall meeting hosted by the City of Snoqualmie about this topic on March 21, 2013. You may download the Town Hall Meeting Presentation Slide Deck or watch the video.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Potential Imagine Housing
Affordable Housing Project in Snoqualmie

Based on questions frequently asked by the public at community outreach meetings hosted by Imagine Housing in early 2013, Imagine Housing has posted answers on its website related to topics such as the median income requirement for occupancy, market factors, financing, residential demographics, impact on the Snoqualmie Valley School District, employment considerations, site design and landscaping, building design, and property management. You may access answers to those questions on the Imagine Housing website at www.imaginehousing.org.

Additional questions were asked that were more specifically related to the City of Snoqualmie rather than Imagine Housing. They included the topics of affordable housing development in Snoqualmie, the designation of parcel S-20 as affordable housing, access to the property, increased traffic, a potential property tax exemption, the financial impact to Snoqualmie residents, and the impact on city services. Answers to those questions follow.

Have plans for the potential Imagine Housing development been finalized?

No. Imagine Housing is finalizing plans at this time. They have conducted two community outreach meetings to gather input from the public and address any questions the public may have. Development of the project may be contingent on other factors, such as approval by the Snoqualmie City Council of a potential request by Imagine Housing for tax and fee exemptions. 

Have tax or fee exemptions been approved by the Snoqualmie City Council?

No. At this time, Imagine Housing has not formally requested tax or fee exemptions and, therefore, no such exemptions have been considered by the Snoqualmie City Council or approved. Imagine Housing has invested significant time into planning for a potential affordable housing project in Snoqualmie and will likely make a proposal for exemptions to the City Council in 2013. If that occurs, the City Council will consider approval or disapproval.  

When was it decided that affordable housing would be built in Snoqualmie?

Creating affordable housing opportunities in Snoqualmie is part of the Development Agreement for Snoqualmie Ridge. The Snoqualmie City Council approved a Development Agreement between the City and the Quadrant Corporation in 2004 after extensive environment review, public input, and Planning Commission and City Council deliberations. The Development Agreement is a binding contract, to which the Snoqualmie Ridge II Master Plan (Mixed Use Final Plan) is an exhibit. All allowable uses for Snoqualmie Ridge II were approved under the Snoqualmie Ridge II Mixed Use Final Plan in 2004.

Where will affordable rental housing be built? 

Affordable rental housing will be built on parcel S-20, which is located at the current terminus of Frontier Ave SE. All of the area within Snoqualmie Ridge II, including parcel S-20, is zoned mixed use. Parcel S-20 has been designated for higher density, multifamily housing since approval of the Snoqualmie Ridge II Mixed Use Final Plan in 2004, and specifically as affordable rental housing in 2009.

The affordable housing location cannot be moved to another Snoqualmie Ridge II parcel because this designation is an obligation in the master developer obligation of Snoqualmie Ridge II Development LLC. The other remaining undeveloped parcels designated for higher density housing (parcel S-13 and  S-14) have been purchased by Centex (Pulte), which does not have any obligation to construct affordable housing.

Although a particular project has not been approved, at some point parcel S-20 will be the location of affordable rental housing, whether the developer is Imagine Housing or a different entity.

What is the maximum number of units that can be developed on the property?

Parcel S-20’s approved density allows for 8-16 units per acre. Based on the gross developable acreage of the parcel (10.3 acres), this allowed density could support the 160 units in the Imagine Housing project plan.

How would increased traffic be addressed?

The intersections of SE Jacobia St and Snoqualmie Parkway along with the intersection of SE Jacobia St and Frontier Ave SE were designed to accommodate the planned traffic volume associated with development of parcel S-20. A traffic assessment was performed by Fehr and Peers and is posted in the reference document section following these questions and answers.

Although streets will be more congested than they are now since there is no development on parcel S-20 at this time, development of that property is inevitable and the traffic would increase whether the development were designated affordable or market rate.

Traffic impacts for the entire Snoqualmie Ridge II development, including a multifamily complex on parcel S-20, were extensively analyzed in the Snoqualmie Ridge II Environmental Impact Statement, which determined that Snoqualmie Parkway and major intersections have adequate capacity for all proposed development in Snoqualmie Ridge II.

The Snoqualmie Police Department is prepared to manage the additional traffic. To provide for smoother operations of the signalized intersection of Snoqualmie Parkway and SE Jacobia St, modification to the signalization timing can be made operationally by the City as volumes increase.

Will the Fire Department be able to adequately access the development?

The Snoqualmie Fire Department is prepared to respond to fire or emergency medical needs at the property. Design standards designate Frontier Ave SE as a neighborhood collector providing sufficient access for fire, school, and delivery vehicles.

Will there be a property tax exemption or fee waivers for the Imagine Housing project?

The Snoqualmie City Council has not approved a property tax exemption for the Imagine Housing project.

A waiver of building permit fees, planning fees, and plan review fees has been requested by Imagine Housing but not yet approved. Any waiver of permit fees would need to be approved by the Snoqualmie City Council.

How would the exemption financially impact other residents of Snoqualmie?

If a property tax exemption were approved for the Imagine Housing project, the additional impact to Snoqualmie residents would be approximately 3.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value or $14 per year for a $400,000 home. The impact will vary over the years if the assessed value for the City goes up or down. 

How would the development impact city services?

The Imagine Housing project would not have significant impact on city services including police, fire, EMS, public works, or parks. Based on the Snoqualmie Ridge II Mixed Use Final Plan, parcel S-20 was designated as high-density, multifamily housing and the need for city services has been anticipated whether the development were for affordable or market rate rental housing.

Questions and Comments

If you have additional questions that have not been answered here, please email info@ci.snoqualmie.wa.us.

You may also look for additional answers to frequently asked questions on the Imagine Housing Timber Falls web page at www.imaginehousing.org.

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Reference Documents 

Memorandum to Snoqualmie City Council from City Attorney regarding
Imagine Housing Proposal for Parcel S-20

Documents Referred to in the Memorandum:

Document 1  -  Mixed Use Final Plan Conditions for SR II (06/28/2004)
Document 2  -  Mixed Use Final Plan Affordable Housing Credits (06/02/2009)
Document 3  -  Mixed Use Final Plan Use Table
Document 4  -  Mixed Use Final Plan Map for SR II South (03/2004)
Document 5  -  City of Snoqualmie Resolution 907: Permited Uses
Document 6  -  Minor Modification to SR II Mixed Use Final Plan (10/29/2009)
Document 7  -  Affordable Housing Convenant for SR II Parcel S-20
Document 8  -  Traffic Impact Study - Draft (03/19/2003)
Document 9  -  Traffic Impact Study - Final (02/15/2004)
Document 10  -  SR II Development Street Classification Plan (11/08/2004)
Document 11  -  SR II Development Street Standards Table (11/08/2004)
Document 12  -  SR II Development Neighborhood Collector Standard
Document 13  -  Portion of Plat 25 - Phase I
Document 14  -  Partial Assignment, Assumptions, and Release of Master Developer Obligations

June 11, 2012 City Council Meeting Documents
Proposed Ordinance for Tax Exemption (Not Considered)
Agenda Bill Report (Not Considered)

Fehr and Peers Traffic Assessment of Snoqualmie Ridge Parcel S-20 (08/14/2012)

SR II Development Agreement (03/31/2004)

SR II Environmental Impact Statement (02/2004)

Washington Assn. of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs Crim in Washington 2011 Annual Report



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