By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
A Seattle development company proposes to build a new 90,400 square foot, three-story, self-storage facility on Bothell-Everett Highway at the southern edge of Mill Creek.
The proposed Cubes Self-Storage would replace Li’l Sprout Nursery and Garden Center.
According to the proposed Binding Site Plan documents, construction of the storage facility will begin in spring/summer 2019 if the city approves the plan.
One hiccup in the proposal is that the new facility will be too close to an existing category II wetland on the site. This requires the approval of a reasonable use exception to Mill Creek Municipal Code reducing the wetland buffer from 200 feet to 100 feet.
The reasonable use exception to the wetland buffer rule is allowed if the developer can show the size and shape of the site keeps the property owner from “deriving reasonable economic use of the subject property.”
A condition for granting the exception is that the developer improve the site by enhancing the wetland in other areas and by improving the quality of subsequent stormwater runoff.
As well, some existing buildings now on the site are already too close to the wetland. The developer proposes to demolish all existing buildings and restore the wetlands buffer by planting native vegetation.
City staff are now reviewing the proposed Binding Site Plan documents. Once their review is complete, public comments will be solicited as part of the Mill Creek Hearing Examiner’s project review.
The hearing examiner will decide whether or not the reasonable use exception is granted, which will allow the development to proceed.