Point Wells: Snohomish County to appeal the February 22 Remand Order issued by King County Superior Court judge

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Point Wells photo by Tim Davis

By Tom McCormick

As reported in an earlier article https://www.shorelineareanews.com/2022/02/point-wells-court-gives-bsre-yet.html , Snohomish County twice denied BSRE’s application to develop a huge urban center at Point Wells, because its application substantially conflicted with the County’s code. Among other conflicts, numerous buildings exceeded the code’s 90-foot height limit, and several buildings violated the code’s residential setback requirement.

In 2021, BSRE (the developer) petitioned the King County Superior Court to review and reverse the most recent denial. BSRE argued in part that the County’s code allowed buildings taller than 90 feet because of the site’s proximity to a high capacity transit route (the Sounder train passes through the site, though it doesn’t stop there), and that the code’s residential setback rules do not apply to its project. BSRE also argued that the County failed to exercise good faith in reviewing and processing its application.

Point Wells aerial view copyright Marc Weinberg

On February 22, 2022, a King County Superior Court judge issued an order remanding the matter. After finding that there was "a lack of good faith [by Snohomish County] in the processing and review” of BSRE’s application, the judge gave BSRE a do-over—an opportunity to revise its application to address the substantial code conflicts that gave rise to the County’s denial.

The judge gave BSRE six months to submit its initial revisions. But the judge did not rule on the substantial conflicts. The judge, for example, did not rule on whether the maximum building height is 90 feet or 180 feet, or whether the residential setback rules apply.

"Central Village" site drawing from BSRE
Just one of many building clusters planned for the site.

Snohomish County is going to appeal the judge’s remand order. Likely triggered by the judge's "lack of good faith" finding, and/or by the judge’s failure to decide whether BSRE’s application does indeed substantially conflict with the County's code, the Snohomish County Council passed a motion on March 7, 2022, to authorize the County Attorney’s office to file an appeal.

It is possible that BSRE too will file an appeal. The deadline for filing an appeal is March 24, 2022.

According to the judge’s remand order, if anyone appeals her order, then "all of the deadlines herein shall be automatically stayed while the appeal is pending.” This means that BSRE’s re-submission opportunity will be put on hold until after the Court of Appeals issues its decision, perhaps by late 2023.



3 comments:

David Higgins March 9, 2022 at 12:30 PM  

Whew, At least sno co has a chance to stop this overbuilding of the area.

Unknown March 13, 2022 at 12:42 PM  

Excellent article - thank you Tom McCormick. Such a long drawn out process - looks like it could go through 2023 and beyond.

jim fryett March 15, 2022 at 10:34 AM  

Either sides' appeal works in BSRE favor as it extends their time to come up with a solution that best fits their pocketbooks and desired outcome. Time has the effect of neutralizing the public opposition against such overly aggressive projects.

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