By AMY GILBERT McGRATH, contributing writer
Published December 14, 2022
Maltby neighbors air concerns as development project roars back
Basemap © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA license., Tribune markings
A map of where the proposed townhome project (marked in yellow) would be placed across nearly 17 acres of open space ex-farmland on 9321 and 9509 Paradise Lake Road.
MALTBY — A proposed townhome community that’s been revived, currently under county review, is facing strong opposition from area residents.
Snohomish Gardens is a plan for a 196-unit subdivision on 16.91 acres located at 9321 and 9509 Paradise Lake Road, near the intersection at state Route 522.
Initially proposed as a 360-unit apartment complex, the Paradise Lake Road Garden Apartments project was denied. The county cited environmental concerns relating to traffic and access to emergency services.
Now, with a new name and plans, the public is voicing similar concerns about the latest proposal.
Just over 100 comments were filed about the Snohomish Gardens project during a recent comment period, largely in opposition
Thirty-year resident Janet Smith wrote of her frustrations over the new plans, which she stated do not address the traffic concerns from the first proposal.
“There are no amenities to support this project, such as transit access or adequate traffic improvements. Not to mention the impact that such a project will have on the quality of the life for residents who live here. Rush hour is a nightmare with traffic backed up well past 99th Avenue and makes traveling in this area a major issue. Residents have to plan when they want to leave their homes due to the traffic issues,” Smith wrote.
Resident Niall James, who lives next to the proposed project, wrote of several issues, including the well-being of the wildlife.
“After six years of sitting abandoned, deer, coyotes, and a large host of other wildlife have moved in to live and flourish,” James wrote. He further pointed out the potential impact on street visibility, traffic and area schools. He then offered a solution.
“If it’s not obvious, I am vehemently against this project. Based on its scope and impact to the area. Sixteen to 32 homes should be planned for the lot. That will mirror the existing community in the area and cause the least amount of impact,” James wrote.
The proposed development is in the boundaries of the Monroe School District. Close by are Maltby Elementary and Hidden River Middle.
Resident Tamara Edwards wrote that the traffic studies miss “key characteristics of the actual traffic patterns as experienced daily by the current residents.” She continued, “the number of vehicles on Paradise Lake Road can back up over two miles from (state Route 522) eastward and on Bostian Road, vehicles can back up over three-quarters of a mile.
Snohomish County completed a traffic study regarding the project proposal. Traffic revision requirements and recommendations include adding a stop light intersection at Bostian Road/91st Avenue and Paradise Lake Road. The county also recommended additional turn lanes and stop signs at critical crossroads by 2028. Suggested improvements include crossroads between Paradise Lake Road and 522 and Yew Way and W. Bostian Road.
The traffic study calculates the project’s impacts on peak travel hours to increase by 93 trips during morning commute times and 111 trips during evening rush hour on average through the affected areas.
The county concluded that the proposed road improvements would be more than enough to mitigate traffic increase if the Snohomish Gardens project is approved.
Funding for these improvements, however, still needs to be fully established.
The developer will pay just over $1 million in transportation impact fees if the project is approved. Transportation fees, though, go to broad county road system, not earmarked to road needs in the immediate area.
Residents can expect to have an opportunity to voice concerns in person. The county’s hearing examiner will schedule a public hearing during at least one of the review cycles.
To check the application status and review information regarding the Snohomish Gardens proposal, visit: www.snohomishcountywa.gov/6198
For public records relating to the proposed land use, visit the Snohomish County Planning and Development (PDS) online records portal: https://snoco.org/pds
publicrecords/index.html and search for a permit using the number “22 116648 PSD.”
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