News

Debate and details bogging down Eastown development

By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

Eastown development became the hot topic at the May 6 Bonney Lake City Council workshop.

A group of property owners and developers told council members of their concerns, which are centered on the glacial pace of development in the area.

The Eastown LLC developers are literally at the center of the area's problems. The group made an agreement with the city to supply a sewer lift station and pressurized sewer line to 214th Avenue East. They also agreed to make improvements to the city's sewer system, principally in the Safeway parking lot, to accommodate the increased flow from Eastown.

The city's side of the bargain is to supply water to the area.

The rub with Eastown moving ahead is the state Department of Transportation requires Eastown LLC to build a north-south road across its property connecting to 96th Street East, which includes an eight-lane intersection.

The developers own the land where Don French lived next to Councilman David Bowen's car lot.

The developers believe the road is regional and will benefit all property owners in the area. For one group to pay for the road's construction makes the project financially untenable, according to the developer.

Councilman Mark Hamilton said the city may have “made a mistake abandoning an LID (local investment district) for roads.”

The City Council had considered putting together an LID, where the city would fund the roads, or a ULID (utility local investment district) for sewer.

Since Eastown LLC came forward with the plan to build the sewer, Hamilton said the council spent less time focusing on Eastown.

“I agree that it is not fair for one property owner to pay for a road for all of Eastown,” Hamilton said. “We are going to have to figure out something.”

Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman said the council will be considering solutions to help move the process along.

“There is always a balance between what the public wants to spend to lure commercial,” Swatman said.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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