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Judge strikes city's zoning

Bonney Lake suffered a legal setback Sept. 1 when Pierce County Superior Court Judge Rosanne Buckner shot down the RC-5 zoning ordinance approved by the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board.

The board ruled in favor of the city May 15 after the Abbey Road Group filed an appeal.

Abbey Road is a development firm based in Puyallup. The firm represents clients who own parcels on the ridge west of and below Ascent Park. Their plan is to build condominiums.

Ordinance 1160, passed by the City Council Sept. 13, 2005, rezoned 235 acres of the southern border of Bonney Lake, including the steep slopes visible from state Route 410. RC-5, which is residential conservation, allows one residence per five acres. The previous zoning allowed between four and 20 dwellings per acre.

Abbey Road contends applications were submitted to the city that vested the project under the earlier zoning law.

The city argues the group provided a site plan, but did not have the application completed in time to be vested.

Buckner wrote in her opinion overturning the board's ruling against Abbey Road the following:

€ Petitioners' complete Type 3 site development permit application for the Skyridge Condominium Project filed Sept. 13, 2005 is vested under zoning and other land use control ordinances in effect at the time the complete application was filed....

€ Petitioners have a vested right to develop the Property in accordance with their Type 3 site development application under the zoning and other land use control ordinances in effect at the time the applications was filed....

€ Petitioners' Type 3 site development permit application for the Skyridge Condominium project and subsequent development was in accordance with the application are not subject to City of Bonney Lake Ordinance No. 1160.

Mayor Neil Johnson said the City Council would make the decision whether to spend the money on an appeal to the Court of Appeals and possibly to the state Supreme Court.

“My preference is to appeal it,” Johnson said.

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

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