The first sizable housing project to be reviewed by the City of Sequim’s hearing examiner Andrew Reeves can move forward to apply for permits after a court appeal deadline lapsed.
Reeves initially approved the Rolling Hills project, a 215-single-family home subdivision off Seventh Avenue, in early September. He denied multiple requests by residents for him to reconsider the application later in the month. Under the application process, anyone had until Oct. 12 to contest the project in Clallam County Superior Court.
Steve Lachnicht, Sequim’s director of Community Development, said that because no court appeals were filed, developer JWJ Group of Silverdale can file site work permits with the city to continue developing the site.
No timeline was given, Lachnicht said.
“It’s the last step before coming in with building permits,” he said.
JWJ Group officials could not be reached for this story.
According to city documents, Rolling Hills is a three-phase project planned on 44.1 acres with “middle income” homes ranging in lot size from about 4,217 to 7,942 square feet.
JWJ representatives said at the application hearing in July they plan to build the homes within five years with 62 lots in phase 1, 76 in phase 2 and 77 lots in phase 3.
In his Aug. 29 decision, Reeves imposed 65 conditions. One condition that both city staff and Reeves required is a professional archaeological survey of the project as state officials reported there’s a “high sensitivity” on the site, as it is “adjacent to a previously recorded archaeological site.”
A few other notable conditions require a lighting plan, stormwater plan, and written statements about bikes/pedestrians and school bus stops accommodations.
Despite Reeves’ concerns about the project increasing congestion and operating “at a deficient level of service under future conditions” at the South Sequim Avenue and U.S. Highway 101 on/off ramps and intersections, he approved the application as there are plans to add a traffic signal on the bypass in the city’s six-year Transportation Improvement Program.
As a temporary measure, city staff plan to install an all-way stop in cooperation with Washington’s Department of Transportation, according to city documents.
Reeves also required a city request for Norman Street to connect Third and Seventh Avenues and be improved to city standards with sidewalks.
When residents asked him to reconsider the application, some of their requests/comments included concerns about the city improperly notifying residents of the application, a negative impact from more traffic and density, water being misidentified on site, and more.
Reeves wrote in his reconsideration decision that residents’ concerns were “adequately addressed in the decision.”
Next up, Reeves will consider an application for Effie Estates, a development proposing 15 single-family homes on 2.72 acres on the southeast corner of West Hemlock Street and South Seventh Avenue, across the U.S. Highway 101 bridge from the Rolling Hills development.
Effie Estates would have lots ranging from 5,970 to 8,233 square-feet. The hearing is set for 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St.
For more information about proposed developments in the City of Sequim, visit sequimwa.gov/471/Current-Projects.