Residents question Roosevelt Road rezone traffic study
MONROE - Residents in the Foothills have for the moment put the brakes on a proposed rezone that would increase residential density on a 71-acre piece of property next to their neighborhood.
The residents’ primary concern is over traffic impacts once more housing units go in and during construction, which would bring large vehicles past neighborhood bus stops and parks. Residents want traffic impacts to be given more consideration and are critical of the city’s review of the traffic impacts.
“We reviewed (the study) and determined that they hadn’t done the substantive analysis they were required to,” Foothills homeowner Geoffrey Thomas said after a December planning commission meeting.
The Foothills Homeowners Association submitted a 14-page letter to the city in November criticizing the traffic study. Thomas said he suspects his community’s involvement had something to do with the decision to postpone further discussion on the rezone.
“I’m guessing that they are reflecting on the comments of an active board and an active community,” Thomas said. “There’s a great deal of passion there. It’s a matter of being responsible and thorough.”
Thomas said his neighborhood would like two parcels pulled from the rezone, which he said have parks and bus stops nearby, to allow for a safe construction zone.
“We want the construction trucks going down roads that come off of Roosevelt Road, not past our large parks where our children play,” Thomas said.
The planning commission’s public hearing on the Roosevelt Road rezone scheduled for last month has now been moved to March.
The rezone request aligns the land use designation for the area as spelled out in the comprehensive plan. The developer would be able to build more housing units per acre and put in a planned residential development in the southeast area of the Roosevelt Road area west and north of the Foothills, which also is a planned residential development of about 200 smaller single-family homes.
The existing zoning allows for 336 housing units on the proposed rezone site. The developer is proposing to build an additional 100 to 169 housing units, bringing the total up to either 436 units or 505 units. About 40 acres of the proposed rezone area is covered by wetlands and probably can’t be built on.
The city is interested in increasing housing density in town in order to meet its 2025 projected population growth. A 2007 Snohomish County Buildable Lands report found Monroe is deficient in residential capacity and will fall short in meeting growth projections.
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