Appeal filed by developer

By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

The Abbey Road Group, a Puyallup-based development firm, has filed an appeal of the city's rezone of steep slopes areas in the city.

The council passed Ordinance 1160 Sept. 13, rezoning the areas on the southern border of the city to RC-5, which allows one home per five acres.

Most residential zoning in the city is R-1 and calls for four houses per acre.

Council members voted for the rezone as a protection against the development of the forested slopes visible from state Route 410 East approaching Elhi Hill.

The Abbey Road Group was representing owners of area 18 and 19, parcels west of Ascent Park on the ridge.

David Renaud of the Abbey Road Group cautioned the city at several public meeting in August and September that the rezone was unfair and legal action might follow.

Renaud told the council the areas he represented were annexed into the city with the understanding it would retain its commercial zoning.

The developer submitted development applications which, if they had been approved, would have vested the property as commercial and allowed for development.

However, staff members said the documents were not complete and the application was turned down.

Renaud, who previously worked for the city's Planning Department, was contacted about the appeal by phone, but refused to comment, directing all questions to the law firm handling the case. At press time, the law firm had not returned a call for comment.

The appeal is to the city's Hearing Board protesting the RC-5 rezone.

The company may also appeal the case to superior court.

The company plans to build about 600 condominium units on the land.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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