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Posted on: June 30, 2022

Hearing Examiner Affirms Adequacy of Snoqualmie Mill Site Environmental Impact Statement

snoqualmie mill site conceptual

On June 28, 2022, Hearing Examiner Sharon A. Rice issued a written decision on the Snoqualmie Mill Site Planned Commercial/Industrial (PCI) Plan, affirming the adequacy of the plan’s associated Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and recommending the Snoqualmie City Council approve the Mill Site PCI Plan.  

Additionally, the written decision denied an appeal of the associated FEIS, stating the appellant’s case failed to show the initial determination of adequacy for the FEIS was clearly erroneous on any point. 

As a Hearing Examiner, Ms. Rice – an attorney and land use expert – acted as an impartial 3rd party whose role was to provide a formal recommendation to the City Council on the PCI Plan, and determine the adequacy of the project’s FEIS, ensuring it followed local ordinances, applicable state law, and adheres to Washington’s SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) rules. 

Over the course of multiple days in late March and early April, Ms. Rice heard hours of public comment about the Mill Site PCI Plan, as well as legal testimony and evidence pertaining to an appeal of the adequacy of the associated FEIS.

About the Mill Site Project: The private project is proposed for the 261-acre former Weyerhaeuser Mill Site near downtown Snoqualmie, and is owned by Snoqualmie Mill Ventures, LLC. The proposed project site does not include the nearby Mill Pond/Borst Lake, which is still owned by Weyerhaeuser.  

Most of the property - approximately two-thirds of the project site - is planned to remain open space with natural areas, habitat, and flood storage. The re-developed portion of the property is planned to occur in three stages. (See attached map) Planning area 1 would focus on the production and storage of wine, re-developing this area with a mix of light industrial, commercial/retail, and warehouse buildings along a pedestrian-oriented main street featuring tasting rooms and restaurants. It would also include 160 units of multi-family housing situated on the upper floors of the mixed-use buildings. 

Planning areas 2 and 3 are proposed to be phased over the next 10-15 years.  

Next Steps:  This summer the Snoqualmie City Council will consider the Mill Site Planned Commercial/Industrial Plan and an associated Development Agreement. Subsequent steps include applications for building and infrastructure permits, which are required prior to commencement of any construction.  

Mayor Katherine Ross commented, “We are pleased with the Hearing Examiner’s decision, upholding our staff’s determination of adequacy for the thorough and complex Environmental Impact Statement for the Mill Site property. This project will revitalize this long vacant property, enhancing the environment, creating jobs, and positively benefiting our local economy.”

See the Hearing Examiner’s full written decision HERE

To learn more about the proposed Snoqualmie Mill Site project, the Mill Site PCI Plan and associated FEIS, visit: https://www.snoqualmiewa.gov/888/Snoqualmie-Mill-Site.

Mill Site Planning Areas

Figure 1: Mill Site Planning Areas. Areas of green are planned open space. Area 1 is the first area proposed for re-development. The nearby Mill Pond/Borst Lake is NOT part of the property and is still owned by Weyerhaeuser.

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