Legacy Ridge, a 97-single family lot subdivision off South Seventh Avenue, is the latest development to receive Sequim city council’s approval.
With the new development sitting on nearly 37.6 acres, developers will connect South Seventh Avenue to create a throughway between East Silberhorn Road and Happy Valley Road.
Following Sequim planning commission’s and city staff’s recommendations with 40-plus conditions, city councilors voted 6-1 with William Armacost opposed on Aug. 12.
Armacost said he’s concerned about the size of the development, its impact on the rural area and potential flooding.
“I’ve lived in that area and it’s clay. If you try digging post holes, you don’t use a shovel. You use a pick,” he said.
Steve Calhoon, principal engineer for PACE Engineering of Kirkland, represents the property owner Anita Searcy of Tucson, AZ., of the Irvin Boyd Family Limited and told city councilors he held two neighborhood meetings about the development.
He said the Boyd family hasn’t identified a home builder but he estimates the average plot being 6,900 square feet priced in the mid-range subject to the market. Calhoon said about 25 of the homes will have views as far away as Victoria.
Throughout the application process, several nearby residents wrote letters and spoke to the planning commission and city council about issues ranging from flooding to traffic.
William Miano, Cherry Blossom Estates Homeowners Association president, posed multiple questions to the city via letter about stormwater, water pressure and the nearby Silberhorn Road/Seventh Avenue intersection.
He told city councilors that due to water runoff two homeowners must pump water out of their crawl space to handle the incoming water.
Armacost said he feels the city has “an existing problem that hasn’t been fixed.”
“We’re adding a huge quantity of homes that’s gong to have a greater impact on the system that’s already failing,” he said.
Tim Woolett, Sequim senior planner, said the original proposal has been revised several times to accommodate wetland and stream issues and that “studies have found thirsty soils over the years.”
Flooding issues were raised early on, city staff report, and that extensive monitoring was performed in an effort to engineer a plan that would mitigate the potential for adverse stormwater impacts.
The property’s stormwater will run via pipes to a wet pond and then to an infiltration pond with an emergency pond overflow available.
Woolett said in an interview that the property currently has uncontrolled run-off that cuts through nearby properties in extreme weather events.
Phil Cheesman, vice-president of PACE Engineering, said at the city council meeting that the infiltration pond is oversized about three times of what is needed at the minimum infiltration rate and that in the event of a 100-year storm, it would not impact roads like nearby Falcon Road.
Matt Klontz, Sequim city engineer, said water that flows down a nearby irrigation ditch comes from homes in unincorporated Clallam County and previously flooded homes as far away as Fir Street. After being redirected, it flows out on U.S. Highway 101, and city staff anticipate receiving a grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to intercept the incoming stormwater and send it to the future off-channel reservoir for the Dungeness River.
Despite the plans and mitigation, city councilor Candace Pratt said they should listen to the “old timers” about their concerns.
“Mitigation is a best effort,” she said. “Water will go where water wants to go.”
David Garlington, Sequim public works director, said PACE and the Boyd family has fulfilled its requirements of the city and the state.
“Can the system be overwhelmed? Of course it can like last winter,” he said.
“You can’t design against everything otherwise it’d be too extensive. It’d be a system no one could afford.”
Garlington said he believes “everything that can be done with design is being done.”
More on water
Klontz said the new subdivision will still receive the city’s sewer services but not its water due to being at a higher elevation than what the city’s reservoir can serve. To counter that, the city entered into an agreement in 1999 with Clallam County PUD to offer water in the area for future developments in city limits because the PUD has a water reservoir closer in its system.
He said PACE must meet all of the city’s requirements for water such as fire flow, storage and more.
Following the recommendation of Gibson Traffic Consultants, Inc. of Everett, East Silberhorn Road will stop at a sign at South Seventh Avenue and South Seventh Avenue will become a through road. Klontz said the details will be worked out in design and permitting phase.
Staff with Gibson Traffic Consultants, Inc. estimated the new development will generate 923 average daily trips with 75 morning peak-hour trips and 99 evening peak-hour trips.
One of the 40-plus conditions for stormwater, streets and more states that construction vehicles over one ton cannot use Reservoir Road for access. They will be allowed via Happy Valley Road from the south, or up the new South Seventh Avenue extension from the north.
City staff list Legacy Ridge as one of its larger incoming projects along with the proposed Lavender Meadows preliminary Major Binding Site Plan for 217 unit manufactured home park with three phases off the intersection of North Sequim Avenue and Port Williams Road. A September 9 public hearing has been cancelled pending the developer resubmitting plans.
For more information on future city developments, contact 360-683-4908 or visit https://www.sequimwa.gov/471/Current-Projects.