Mill Creek City Council sets new East Gateway Urban Village development agreement public hearing date

At their Tuesday, February 26, 2019, meeting, the Mill Creek City Council decided the required public hearing on The Farm of Mill Creek’s development agreement would be held at 6:00 pm on Tuesday evening, March 26th.
The Farm at Mill Creek rendering. Image courtesy of City of Mill Creek.

By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.

After two weeks of discussion, on February 26, 2019, the Mill Creek City Council decided the required public hearing on The Farm of Mill Creek’s development agreement would be held at 6:00 pm on Tuesday evening, March 26th.

The city council discussed the proposed East Gateway Urban Village mixed-use development at great length on February 19th and 26th. City staff and developer Ryan Patterson presented background information and answered questions on the East Gateway Urban Village’s history, the city’s land use policies and regulations that govern East Gateway Urban Village developments, the history of developments in that district, and specifics regarding the new mixed-use facility.

At these meetings Senior Planner Christi Amrine said the proposed project includes over 100,000 square feet of retail/commercial uses and 355 residential apartments.

She also explained that unlike other areas of the city, the Mill Creek City Council must approve all East Gateway Urban Village development agreements before turning things over to the city’s hearing examiner and city staff to determine whether or not the development meets specific city codes and regulations.

Amrine did say that The Farm at Mill Creek development proposal meets the following land use policies and regulations that the city council and their predecessors previously approved:

  • Multi-family residential above ground floor commercial.
  • Open space including parks and plazas.
  • Commercial and retail uses on ground floor including retail sales and services, business and professional offices, medical offices, and dental clinics.
  • Parking structures.

Back in 2015 the city council halted East Gateway Urban Village developments so that they could re-evaluate land uses policies because a number of councilmembers didn’t want to see additional apartments built in Mill Creek.

Although they could have changed the city’s land use policies and regulations to disallow more multi-family developments at that time, they allowed the moratorium to expire in 2016 without making any changes.

At the February 19th city council meeting Amrine told the city council the developer would pay approximately $2,500,000 in Everett School District, city park, and city traffic mitigation fees when the development is approved.

Patterson said he estimated that the new development should generate about $500,000 per year in property and sales tax revenue for the city. He went on to say that The Farm at Mill Creek’s construction should provide an additional $600,000 to $700,000 in sales tax revenue.

At the February 19th meeting Patterson told the city council he purchased an adjacent 61 acres of land from Pacific Topsoils that he plans to restore and develop as a city wetlands park.

Patterson will hold a second open house for interested people to learn more about the proposed development on Monday evening, March 13th, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Mill Creek Senior Center.

00 pm on Tuesday evening, March 26th.

The Farm at Mill Creek's proposed site plan. Image courtesy of City of Mill Creek.



The developer will pay fees

According to my notes the developer will pay about $465,000 in school impact fees in addition to $720,000 in park impact fees and $1,100,000 in traffic impact fees.

The Everett School District and the City of Mill Creek sets the rates to be paid.

The Farm at Mill Creek - School mitigation fees

Who holds Everett School District accountable for disbursement of these fees?  They don't seem to go to Mill Creek schools.  Jackson High is in desperate need - they have 30 portables!  District has gorgeous new admin building, but Mill Creek schools are the ones affected by constant growth!

Also, it doesn’t appear the

Also, it doesn’t appear the city enforced ANY of the design standards for all new development. Just look at then Arena Sports large mobile home. Then go look at the Public Self storage on 128th. That’s it’s future. As a second example - and not just for the building itself but also the lackluster landscaping, look no further than the Mill Creek Sports Store. Utter crap. Cinder blocks and metal buildings just scream Mill Creek now. And cheap cypress trees and budget plants are the landscaping standards that check the box. 

Mill Creek, go cruise Redmond, Sammamish, Snoqualmie, Issaquah and Kirkland for actual examples to model yourself after. Stop idolizing Spanaway, Kent, Des Moines and Federal Way. 

Oh. And “The Vintage”

Oh. And “The Vintage” building promised brick and we got terra cotta painted concrete. A perfect flat canvas for future tagging from the section 8 folks moving in next store soon. If I recal, the Comprehensive Plan states no such large flat surfaces, yet that happened. 

And regarding “The Farm”, just go look at the “quality” of the apartment homes on Ash Way - built by the same developer. Cheap siding, lousy landscaping. Horrible design. Quantity (of residences) over Quality is what this guy is all about and how he grades his own success. Not the establishment of a genuine “sense of place” that will sustain the test of time. Could we really not find a better proposal for the EGUV? Also, notice the change in plans and how much content was erased from his first proposal to the one he sprang on us in March. And he has yet to show his intentions for the Stand Alone retail stores....this is pathetic. 

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