Maple Valley hits pause on development near Legacy Site

City says a six-month moratorium will help it plan for downtown

In an effort to preserve space for a future downtown, the Maple Valley City Council decided to halt development near the Legacy Site.

The city of Maple Valley voted 6-0 to place a moratorium just south of the Legacy Site at Southeast 260th Street to Southeast 264th Street during executive session at the council’s regular meeting on Monday, July 8.

Councilmember Erin Weaver did not attend the meeting.

There has been two public downtown visioning sessions and then one study session to talk about the vision for the future of downtown Maple Valley, according to City Manager Laura Philpot.

During the visioning sessions, community members and city officials came together to talk about what they would like to see for Maple Valley’s downtown.

The city had a consultant attend the sessions to show them comparable downtowns and main streets concepts.

“From participants from the downtown visioning process, a number of cities were identified as ‘We really like this main street or downtown concept,” Philpot said.

The moratorium allows the city to stop accepting applications for developments in the defined area near the Legacy Site, so long as the development is outside of the downtown process. The goal is to try to do more of a master plan for the new downtown, so the city needs to figure out what to do with codes and zoning to make the happen, according to Philpot.

The city also wants to involve property owners from the area on this plan as well.

“Council did the moratorium for that section to say ‘pause development through there while we take a look at this and have some time to sort it out with the planning commission,” Philpot said. “We reached out to some of the property owners that we have contact information for and we’re trying to meet with them individually to go over what we’ve done and work with them on a timeline and outline of how we’ll start working together to develop that master plan or that long range concept and make sure it works for everybody.”

By law, this moratorium will only last six months but it can be extended through another council vote.

Philpot thinks there will be at least one extension to the moratorium to make sure everyone is on the same page and there’s enough time to do everything right.

Between now and the next regular council meeting on July 22, the council plans to come up with some scope of future development, which would include working out the exact schedule.

“I think it’s exciting. It gives us an opportunity to pause and make sure that it’s done right. If we want a downtown for Maple Valley, this is the opportunity to get it planned and put in place,” Philpot said.