Point Wells

BSRE Point Wells, LP, considers alternative application review process as Town of Woodway files litigation to stop proposed transformation at Point Wells

Developer may seek alternative path established under Snohomish County’s Urban Centers Code as Woodway abandons negotiations

Snohomish County— As the result of litigation filed September 12 by the Town of Woodway, BSRE Point Wells, LP, (BSRE Point Wells), proponent of the transformation of a 61-acre industrial site into a signature mixed-use community, will now consider formally withdrawing from the Municipal Agreement negotiation process established under Snohomish County’s Urban Centers Code. A neighborhood group, Save Richmond Beach, has joined Woodway in the litigation against BSRE Point Wells and Snohomish County.

BSRE Point Wells is proposing a project developed in phases over 20 years, beginning with clean-up of the aging industrial site. The new master-planned community would provide new public access opportunities to 2/3 mile of sandy beach, parks, a public pier, restored and enhanced habitat and other amenities.

“Unfortunately, Woodway has chosen to litigate rather than negotiate,” said Gary Huff, an attorney representing BSRE Point Wells. He said the developer is now considering whether to request that its Urban Center Application be reviewed under an alternative application process, which includes a public meeting before the Snohomish County Design Review Board and a public hearing before the county’s Hearing Examiner.

Dating back to April of this year, BSRE Point Wells has been engaged in on-going discussions with a goal of reaching a Municipal Agreement with both Woodway and the City of Shoreline.

“This is particularly disappointing given that Woodway has not participated in meaningful negotiations for several months,” said Huff. “We have repeatedly requested written confirmation of specific concerns and suggested project revisions from town officials to allow us to undertake the appropriate analyses and consider the feasibility of their proposals. For whatever reason, Woodway has refused to provide us with any kind of reliable response.”

“By filing this lawsuit, the Town of Woodway and Save Richmond Beach appear to believe they can overturn the long-standing constitutional and statutory bases for Washington’s vesting doctrine,” said Huff. “The vesting doctrine provides that the rules and regulations under which a project will be reviewed are those which are in place on the date of filing of a permit application. We are confident the court, as it has for over 50 years, will continue to uphold Washington’s vesting rules.”

A successfully negotiated Municipal Agreement–covering the manner in which the project would be developed and its impacts mitigated—would be submitted to Snohomish County for review and possible inclusion in a Development Agreement between the developer and the county.

Huff said BSRE Point Wells will continue discussions with the City of Shoreline following the city’s August 24 publication of a Letter of Intent expressing a desire for a negotiated agreement.

“Our conversations with the City of Shoreline have been productive, resulting in a general agreement on the manner in which the traffic impacts of the proposal will be measured so that mitigation measures can be analyzed and established,” said Huff. “While significant differences remain, we are encouraged by the progress to date.”

“It’s important to note that this is a long-term public process with many opportunities for public participation and input,” said Mark Wells, Environmental Manager for Paramount Petroleum, which currently owns and operates a marine fuels distribution center and asphalt facility at the site. “Key considerations, including traffic, are among those to be addressed in the upcoming preparation of an environmental impact statement.”

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Media Contacts:
Barry Bartlett, The Bartlett Group, 206-529-3612 or barry@bartlettgrouppr.com
Gary Huff, for BSRE Point Wells, LP, 206-224-8024