The developer in a proposal to build 27 homes on the banks of Lake Meridian has run into another roadblock because of six lots being on wetlands.
The Kent City Council voted 6-0 April 15 to affirm a decision last year by a city hearing examiner to approve developer Bill Floten’s project, subject to conditions to ensure the protection of wetlands. Floten earlier filed an appeal in an effort to remove the conditions that six lots near the shoreline of the proposed Meridian Banks development may be unbuildable because of potential harm to wetlands.
Bill Williamson, the attorney for Floten, argued that the homes should be allowed because cabins and a home already exist on the property. Without such an exemption for the subdivision, the impact on lake properties could be widespread, Williamson told the council.
“It could affect every owner on Lake Meridian for any remodel who has protected wetlands on their property,” Williamson said.
But Kim Pratt, assistant city attorney, said a new subdivision doesn’t meet the criteria for an exemption under city regulations.
The city is involved in a lawsuit filed by Floten on a Meridian Banks rezone application to allow six homes per acre rather than 4.5 homes per acre on the six-acre site on the lake’s northwest shore at 25840 135th Lane SE. The lake is just west of Covington.
In a third matter connected to the proposed development, Floten plans to appeal to Superior Court a denial of his appeal of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) threshold determination. The Kent hearing examiner ruled Floten must prove he will take steps to mitigate the impact on wetlands as required under SEPA. Those steps haven’t been taken.
The state policy requires local agencies to consider the likely environmental consequences of a proposal before approving or denying it.