What a wonderful…and hot…Father’s Day weekend! I love the lengthening days of sunlight and shall relish today….as tomorrow begins the shortening of daylight as we march on to Fall.
Frederickson is in the spotlight. This e-letter is to inform the district about a requested change in the original Frederickson Community Plan (adopted 2003) and to ask that you weigh in on the request, if it is important to you.
Ashley Furniture has asked the county to vacate a portion of 38th Ave East in exchange for the build out of alternative roads (currently private) that would then be dedicated to the county and open to the public. The company would like to build one long building rather than two separate buildings. To do this, they would need to build across the reserved right-of-way (ROW); hence, the request to vacate.
The Frederickson Industrial Area is one of three designated Manufacturing Industrial Centers (MIC) in the county. That means the county is required by the Growth Management Act (GMA) to focus and encourage job growth and investment within the area. Millions of dollars have been invested to improve the Canyon Road Freight Corridor in anticipation of growth.
Ashley Furniture will dedicate to the public 200th St east of 38th Ave to 34th Ave, then south to 208th St., built to county standards with sidewalks and four lanes. They will also dedicate to the public and build to county standards 38th Ave from 200th to 204th and west to 34th Ave, two lanes wide.
You can find a great deal of background in the Community Plan, which does site the right-of-way objectives #58, (page 134), and transit objective #60 (page 135). The 38th Ave ROW is identified on page 151 as a premier priority.
Canyon Road south to 208th, the urban growth line, is closer to completion than previously thought. It is fully funded with construction to start in 2022 according to our adopted 2021-2026 Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP). However, we have serious funding issues in the Road Fund, and it will be a fight to keep Canyon Road from getting cut. A completion of that road will help alleviate congestion.
There are pros and cons to the request. I am evaluating the issue using constituent input, landuse background, taxpayer investment, value added to the community and nearby neighborhoods, etc.
Below, I have compiled comments by constituents and interested parties:
What Some Say:
Community plans promote grid planning, connectivity, and access—this is not grid
Respect what the community planners planned for
Comprehensive Plan says county should purchase and protect public ROW’s
- Only a total of 4 through streets take all the traffic from Canyon Rd to 208th and less to 224th; all 4 of these through roads access residential areas that the GMA has designated as Multi/Single family dwellings
- Only one business benefits
Request would hurt local businesses, Bethel Schools, the Fire District, the Sheriff's office (increased travel response times) for both current and future county residents.
A straight line is safest for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians
Request is to trade a straight-line easement for one with 4 turns
Plans made over the past 20 plus years of completing 38th Ave to 208th and in the future all the way to Mountain Highway should be kept
There are significant utility issues, in both relocation (at a cost borne by the developer) and in NESC and utility codes (telecom conduit structure and possibly relocated power lines under a concrete slab)
The cost of relocation of utilities would be significant to the owner; the irony here is that if the right of way was kept and was constructed as a county road, utilities would bear relocation costs, which are normally budgeted as part of their yearly "road move" accounts wisdom of the Community Councils should be considered
- There are no wetlands in the ROW to the south to prevent a straight connection.
- The hill, and dip, are not a defining issue. An intersection would have to grade and fill to meet standards; reducing the speed limit could overcome the visibility limitation on 208th
Comprehensive Plan dated 12-31-20 shows that portion of 38th Ave. E from 200th St. to Wright Road as a PREMIER Road project
34th Ave. doesn't connect to anything
It would be the first county roadway connecting 208th with 224th St
This is a give-away of a county ROW
The county could consider an undercrossing for inter-building freight movement; the second building could be easily sold or divested as a separate parcel much easier, should that become necessary.
What Others Say:
The area was zoned industrial prior to forming community councils
Request establishes a north/south connection between 200th & 208th funded entirely by private development (over $10 million in road infrastructure and traffic impact fee costs) and dedicated to the public; supports schools and fire protection services
The vacation of a portion of 38th Ave does not replace or nullify the County’s requirement for a North-South public road connection between 200th and 208th St
Properties on east side prefer the larger setback
Allows company to consolidate operations, thereby, operations will face interior of the industrial park (less neighborhood disruption)
Being flexible to make what is good, better, is a winning marketing strategy
Increases jobs in the area
Private capital investment exceeds $100 million
Company is responsible for all relocation of utilities
Growing the industrial engine is good for the local economy
A connection at 34th and 208th is safer for sight distance and alleviates the expense of filling a hole; lowering the speed limit to slow speeders assumes speeders will change their behavior
Company will install stoplight at intersection of 208th and 34th
The new road construction will occur concurrently with new building construction
A county build-out of the 38th Ave ROW is not on any schedule to be funded or built
Better to focus efforts on completing Canyon Rd to 208th
38th Ave extension as defined in County Plans is a preliminary alignment which does allow for modification of the alignment to find the best route for the connection
Does the best job balancing connectivity goals, truck traffic flow, and fostering a pro-economic development atmosphere
The southerly extension of Canyon Rd to 208th St E (a programmed improvement in the TIP, currently projected to complete the Design and ROW acquisition phases and begin construction over the next 4 years) continues to be the necessary “relief valve” for the current cut-thru routes using both 42nd and 46th. The volumes on both of these roadways drop significantly with this roadway connection.
A future connection of 176th to 224th invites speed racing activities through neighborhoods and a school zone
The dynamics of a community change over the years
If you haven’t already sent in your thoughts on this important ordinance (2021-36), please do so. It is scheduled for a final hearing on June 29 at the 3:00 pm council meeting.
Grateful for you!