Hearing continues on large development in Seven Lakes area
March 10, 2009 · 3:33 PM
SEVEN LAKES — The founder of 7-Lakes.org, Ellen Watson wants the community to know the hearing continues at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 11 on a proposed development on a portion of the more than 2,000 acres that The McNaughton Group wants to develop.
The group has proposed developing a Fully Contained Community on property that spans from the Seven Lakes area north to Happy Hollow Road.
"A lot of people think that's done deal, that the developers have gone away," Watson said.
Instead, The McNaughton Group, an Edmonds-based developer, has changed its approach.
Now they are proposing to develop a "Rural Cluster 2" with 49 homes on a portion of their large piece of land, Watson said.
The public has a chance to comment on the proposed rural cluster subdivision starting all day Wednesday, March 11 in the county's hearing room in the Bob Drewel Building of Snohomish County Administration complex at 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett.
"We are asking the hearing examiner to require that the developer, The McNaughton Group, conduct an environmental impact statement to consider the full impacts on the entire 2,000 plus acres," Watson said.
While this specific proposal is for just 49 houses, Watson said the developer is proposing more than 600 homes on more than 2,000 acres in the long term.
County Councilman John Koster said the FCC is not likely to happen, but the developers certainly can do a rural cluster subdivision.
"They were looking to get some increased density with the FCC concept," Koster said.
The county recently reduced its number of allowed lots in rural cluster subdivisions, but the current proposal from The McNaughton Group was submitted before the changes were made so it is grandfathered under the former regulations.
"You know as well as me that those roads can't handle much more population," Koster said, noting that the decision of the hearing examiner can be appealed.
"Any Determination of Non Significance can be appealed," he said.
Meanwhile, 7-Lakes.org is waiting to hear the results of one appeal already in Superior Court later this month.
"We can make 12 appeals on each of 12 rural clusters," Watson said, "but it costs money."
"Many groups are working hard to protect water quality and the environment of the Stillaguamish watershed. It just doesn't make sense to develop such big areas," Watson said.
"Even if the developer paid for all the roads and all the schools and all the firefighters and all the parks and all the other impacts from a development that big, is it a good idea? Five-acre developments just don't scar the earth, like a 640 acre development," Watson said.
If anyone wants to help the nonprofit group, they can go to the Web site 7-Lakes.org or call Watson at 360-618-0448.