News

Cascadia timeline changes

Bonney Lake's officials consider effect of a delay

By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

A delay in the Cascadia development - due to a dispute with Orting - has raised questions in Bonney Lake.

The city of Orting filed a lawsuit in November contending an agreement by the city to provide sewer to the proposed 6,500 home developments needs to be reworked for legal and financial reasons.

Cascadia has filed a counter suit asking for damages in the millions of dollars.

An elementary school that was to be built in the area has been delayed by a year, according to Chuck Lappenbusch, senior vice president of Cascadia Development Corporation in Bellevue.

“With a school, if it misses by a month it misses by a year,” Lappenbusch said. “It's just a slight change in the schedule.”

Lappenbusch said Cascadia is confident an agreement can be worked out with Orting before any serious delays occur.

Cascadia spans 4,719 acres, stretching from the southern edge of Bonney Lake to the Carbon River.

The first phase of building was to begin next year with the construction of 1,719 homes. The first residents are now scheduled to be moving in the summer or fall of 2007.

Cascadia is paying Bonney Lake about $380,000 in mitigation fees and $150,000 have already been paid.

According to Lappenbusch the balance of the fees will be paid close to on schedule.

“Things might slide a month or maybe a quarter (three months),” Lappenbusch said, “but we are very confident this will be all worked out.”

Phase one construction is expected to last four to five years.

The second phase is planned for 3,218 homes and phase three 1,500 homes.

The entire development is scheduled to be built over 20 years.

Mitigation fees for phase two and three are yet to be negotiated.

The development is a controversial issue for Bonney Lake officials, who are concerned about traffic flooding through the city when it is finished.

Some City Council members have expressed concern the mitigation fees Cascadia has paid are not adequate for the impact it will cause in the city.

Mitigation fees must be negotiated with Cascadia and the county since the development is outside city limits.

Patrick Kuo, president of Cascadia, has said the development will bring jobs and tax dollars in the millions to the county coffers.

“My concern is, are we supposed to forget about the betterment of Bonney Lake for the betterment of Pierce County?” Mayor-elect Neil Johnson said. “We have to think about Bonney Lake and what's best for out city.”

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

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