Planning Commissioners’ Response to Chaffey PAR – March 14 Meeting

Planning Commissioners’ Response to Chaffey PAR – March 14 Meeting

Folks:  This is just a quick note to all of you who were kind enough to copy me on your comments to the Planning Commission about the Chaffey PAR. Thank you and congratulations: the Commission voted 7-0 on Thursday night to recommend to the City Council that the Chaffey PAR not proceed to Phase II, which would entail a substantive analysis of the Finnrezoning proposal. Instead the Commission recommended that the matter be deferred until a Finn Hill neighborhood plan is developed. This is exactly what the FHNA board’s letter to the Commission asked for.

Jon Pascal, who is a Planning Commissioner and is also an FHNA board member, spoke in favor of postponing action on the PAR. He noted that the City had received many comments about the PAR, showing that it was not a routine zoning question affecting just one property but was a matter that affected community interests and would therefore require considerable staff resources to address. On that basis, Jon concluded that it was inappropriate to proceed with the PAR and that priority should be given to the development of a neighborhood plan. Jay Arnold, another Planning Commissioner, voiced a similar opinion. The other Commissioners also agreed that the PAR should not proceed, but several of them struggled with the decision; some noted that it may take a very long time until a neighborhood plan is developed and that the property owner will not be able to argue the merits of his proposal until then. So, the decision was not as simple as the 7-0 vote might suggest.

Once the video of the Commission meeting is available on the City web page, I’ll send out a note to our email list (which all of you are on, I believe), so that you can watch the discussion yourselves.

This matter is not finished. The Commission’s recommendation will be considered by the Council on April 16, and there is certainly no guarantee that the Council will adopt the Commission’s view of the PAR. (You may recall that the Commission recommended over a year ago that no further action be taken on the Howard PAR – which affected the zoning on the lots near the fire station at Holmes Point and Juanita Drive. The Council rejected that recommendation and the zoning change was ultimately approved.) So, we will need to show the Council the same level of community concern that you demonstrated to the Commission. We will keep you posted as the Council meeting date draws near.

 In the meantime, thank you very much for speaking out. You clearly made a difference.


Scott Morris
Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance – President
(formerly Denny Creek Neighborhood Alliance)
PO Box 682, Kirkland WA 98083 



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