Community Outreach - The Brandt Property

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Community Outreach - The Brandt Property

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Community Outreach – The Brandt Property


The Chamber hosted a community outreach meeting on Thursday, August 23rd, to provide information regarding the proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment specific to the Brandt Property adjacent to the Valley Meadows and Valley Green neighborhoods. Having navigated the sometimes complex and not-so-obvious process for public input, the chamber recognized the need to share information to help clarify planning terms, provide a timeline for the process, and to provide resource and contact information so absolutely everyone has the opportunity to fully participate. Why? Because we believe an informed opinion and lively debate leads to the most effective public process. Those attending the meeting were given a copy the program Power Point, the history of the Brandt property, and the chamber’s new marketing trifold and community directory. 

Ty Peterson, Community Development Director for the City of Maple Valley, covered a number of points including the purpose of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment and the allowed uses in the current zoning of MU (Multiple Use) vs. the uses under the proposed SC and CB zoning (Service Commercial and Community Business). Two of the most obvious differences are the removal of the residential component and the provision for more flexibility in terms of types of commercial uses and building sizes. These provisions would allow building heights up to 100 feet and also allow a broader spectrum of retail, office, light manufacturing, educational, and entertainment uses. Ty also covered the topics of how roads are located in the planning process, the purpose and purview of the Planning Commission that acts as a citizens’ advisory board to the Council, and when and why Proposed Land Use signs are posted. 

Chief Brad Doerflinger, Maple Valley Fire & Life Safety, spoke to the fire department’s role as a contract service provider to the City of Maple Valley. Brad also explained the mutual aid agreements that are in place with a number of neighboring fire departments for commercial fires including the automatic dispatch of a ladder truck from one of those neighboring departments. Brad briefly described how new construction standards lower fire risks and the department’s successful negotiation of a process to collect development impact fees so development pays for development. 

Resource information included the City of Maple Valley’s Economic Development Committee’s recommendation to the City Council in February. Two of those recommendations lend direct support to the Proposed Comp Plan Amendment. In part, those recommendations are to assess and make necessary changes to the zoning of key commercial areas identified as developable and to encourage development of employment centers as a primary focus. The City’s website was also referenced as a great source of information under the ‘What’s Happening’ tab to sign up for e-notification for Council and Planning Commission meetings, Public Notices, and Current Projects, including specifics on the Brandt Property. 

I spoke briefly on behalf of the chamber for our support of community-wide economic development to meet the demand for local goods and services, minimize retail leakage, job creation, diversification of the tax base to support public infrastructure and amenities, and to provide flexibility for development. With all that being said, ultimately, the market and the bottom line dictates what will and won’t be developed. If a plan doesn’t pencil out on paper, it won’t happen. 

Bob Castagna, representing the Brandt family, went through the zoning history of the property from the time the property was originally purchased (with King County zoning designations), the City’s 2000 rezone to Multiple Use, and the current status of the zoning. 

Throughout the meeting, we collected written questions from the audience. Some of the questions were responded to by Ty and others by representatives of the chamber. Other questions were directed more to Council, who were not present. All the questions will be forwarded to staff, council, the EDC, and can be found on our website; from the home-page – just click Community Outreach, August 23rd. Links to the handouts from that meeting are also available as well as contact information; hard copies are available at the chamber office or request them via e-mail.



Notice of Public Hearing, Monday September 10, 2012 - Extended to Friday, September 21
Council Agenda Packet, Monday September 10, 2012


Ty Peterson, Director of Community Development

1. If there is no definite plan for a road thru the Brandt Property, why was a map provided at a previous (Planning Commission) meeting showing a road directly against the Valley Meadows property line labeled "Alternative # 1.

Response: Ty explained it was part of a feasibility exercise to find ways to make the necessary road connection between SE 231st to SE 240th. No road has been sited.


2. Has your process included a wildlife impact study?

Response; No there has not been a specific wildlife study performed by the City, there was however a Notice of Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS) under a SEPA review. 


3.  Have you done an impact study? What were the results? 

4.  Can you go over the traffic analysis for the Brandt Comp Plan & Zoning? 

Response:  Ty explained that the projected models, with all the road connections completed (in the future), there is no significant difference between the current zoning impacts and proposed zoning impacts.

5.  How are we supposed to compare 2010 (now) wait times to the projected without current data? 

6.  The Planning Commission resolution to the Council states that the 100 feet maximum height was asked for by the Economic Development Committee but this was not included in the February 2012 EDC resolution asking the City Council to change the zoning from MU to SC. Where did the 100' building height come from and who requested it? 

Response: See Question 1 below under Chamber responses.


7.  In the MU Zoning, what is the makeup (statistical/socio-economic) of the housing units?

Response: See the handout "Brandt Property Zoning History": 24% low income; 56% moderate income; 20% upper income; this is a Comprehensive Plan goal for all housing in the City.

8.  What are the commercial proposals for the Brandt Properties?
Response: There are no proposals for the property at this time.

9.  Doug Corbin stated, "City Council has accepted these" in showing the EDC Recommendations which started with 1) the primary role of local governments is to create an environment where economic development efforts are successful. Does Council really believe that is their role?  
Response: That is a question for Council.

Chamber, Sue VanRuff, Executive Director, Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce

1. Agree with chamber's perspective; explain why you need a 10 story building?

Response: Sue recalled discussions of a buildings designed for advanced technology require extra venting and cooling spaces that don't necessarily equate to the number of stories of a building. Some thought was given to "underground" parking, although incredibly expensive, does alleviate the need for large parking lots. Better question for Council or staff.

2. Do you really expect to build everything people need on 5.8 square miles? The slogan "Live here, work here, play here", but plenty of us play in the places you are trying to develop.

Response: Sue said it would be unrealistic to think we can provide all the goods and services that are needed here but we can create economic activity to stop a great deal of "leakage" to neighboring communities. The entire community looked very different when I moved out here in 1975. Cherokee Bay was new at that time and then came Cedar Downs. There was very little at Four Corners; Ardis Johnson was the first to see the growing potential of that area. The success of Fred Meyer proves the continued demand. With the Growth Management Act, this area was designated urban and with that designation, growth is mandated. The homes we live in now were all woods. Jim Flynn added: he personally would love to see an employment center where his daughter would be able to live and work here instead of having to live near her job in Kirkland.

Written, submitted questions

1. Maple Valley needs a small hotel. A lot of residents get out of town visitors and no room to put them up. We have hotels 12 miles away in Kent, Renton, or Issaquah; a local small hotel might do a good business.

    1. The chamber agrees!!!! We are pursuing that opportunity right now!!
2.  How many lanes in each direction can 169 be increased to through Maple Valley - on the hill between Bain Road and SE 231st?

3.  Why does the City feels that a natural buffer on XX amount of space is not required to shield Valley Meadows and The Gardens from 1: a busy new roads: commercial buildings 3: 100' tall buildings.

Letter Submitted by Aaron & Jill Zappe - Maple Valley:

Attention: Maple Valley City Council
P.O. Box 320
Maple Valley, WA 98038

Dear Elected Council Members:

We have lived in Maple Valley since May of 2004 and have loved the wonderful quality of life enjoyed here. My husband and I enjoy taking our three children to explore the trails and play in the wonderful wilderness we are so blessed to live by.

We are writing to express our opposition to the proposed land use change of the Brandt Property. Our family loves to explore the many trails found in Maple Valley as we run, walk, and bike together almost daily. It would be terrible to remove such beauties which so freely surround this wonderful community.

Please don’t let this city turn into a congested strip mall or apartment-filled nightmare. Have you been to Federal Way, Puyallup, and Covington? All of those cities are bursting with strip malls and/or apartments and lack any beautiful trees that so easily surround this area. All of those cities lack the same community feel that we have enjoyed for the past 8+ years, while living here in Maple Valley.

While we understand that the city needs to allow for a greater tax base, we believe that the citizens of Maple Valley and the City Council need to come to agreement with what will benefit everyone, not just the pocketbooks of our city. Traffic is already a nightmare on Hwy 169, and if we add more strip malls or apartments on the Brandt Property, we will greatly decrease the quality of life we have enjoyed in Maple Valley. Furthermore, in 2011, Family Circle Magazine wrote an article titled, "10 Best Towns for Families.” In this article, Maple Valley was listed as one of the top ten best towns. Within the article, several respondents shared how they loved the trees, wildlife, hiking trails, Lake Wilderness, and the schools of Maple Valley. Let’s do our part to keep this city one of the best towns for families for generations to come. No amount of development, whether commercial or residential, on the Brandt Property will help us maintain the high quality of life we have come to expect and enjoy in Maple Valley. We endorse the proposed Green Belt Buffer policy/ordinance. Please refrain from taking this away from our family.


Jill, Aaron, Mitchell, Allison, & Dallin Zappe




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