Traffic concerns top issue as Cascadia project nears

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Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

After 13 years of planning and preparation, the Cascadia planned community is about to begin this fall on the southeastern edge of the Plateau between Bonney Lake and the Puyallup valley.

"We are in the process of hard-line engineering," said Chuck Lappenbusch, director of development for Cascadia Development Corp. "That includes the backbone infrastructure - the main roads, sewer lines and water systems."

The community is the vision of Patrick Kuo, president of the Bellevue corporation.

"He has spent his life on this," Lappenbusch said. "He is a student of the world and I cherish the opportunity to touch that vision to the ground."

The community is being designed for more than 6,400 homes, or approximately 16,000 residents on 4,719 acres. Tacoma Water will provide water and sewer lines will be connected to the Orting treatment plant.

When complete, Lappenbusch said, the community will include schools and a business community including high tech industry, light manufacturing and retail.

Also in the design are an 18-hole golf course and an equestrian center. A stable will be centralized to equestrian lots, roughly an acre, where people can own horses. Riding trails are also in the plan.

The first phase of the project, which is set for about 1,700 homes, is likely to break ground late next year or in 2006 with residents moving in around 2007.

Both Cascadia and the nearly 1,000 home Falling Water development have brought transportation issues to the front burner in Bonney Lake.

"I'm not sure what all the implications will be," Mayor Bob Young said. "But we need to adapt and accommodate what we know is coming. We are going to be their first shopping place. You can fight it all you want, but Cascadia and Falling Water is going to be there. We would do well to think down the road to see what is coming. They should be an asset to Pierce County."

Members of the Bonney Lake City Council have expressed concern about the movement of traffic to state Route 410 and north through the city.

"We are currently very concerned about traffic flow up 198th through the Bonney Lake High School and the junior high," Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman said. "We can't have them coming through there. Traffic mitigation is going to be the biggest problem. Cascadia may think it is settled, but I don't. I'll be the first person laying across the road if they try coming through."

Representatives for Cascadia are scheduled to meet with the City Council later this month for discussions.

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