Lake Goodwin housing plan gets a boost

LAKE GOODWIN — A developer planning to build what could be as many as 6,000 homes north of Lake Goodwin has brought in a high- powered partner to help with the project.

Granite Land Company of Sacramento, Calif., has joined the McNaughton Group of Edmonds in plans to develop this thinly populated part of Snohomish County.

Granite Land is a subsidiary of Granite Construction Inc., of Watsonville, Calif., which brings in $3 billion per year in revenue, according to the company.

Granite Land and the McNaughton Group have a straight 50-50 partnership, officials with both companies said. The deal includes splitting ownership of about 3½ square miles of property, officials with the Edmonds company said. Granite Land bought its half of the land from the McNaughton Group earlier this year. The sale price was not disclosed.

The McNaughton Group sought out the partnership, managing member Mark McNaughton said.

“This gives us the opportunity to take the time to do it right, with the best interest of the community in mind,” he said.

The McNaughton group has applied with Snohomish County to build 640 homes in 13 “rural clusters,” in which the lot sizes are reduced in exchange for open space in the surrounding area. Two of the clusters have received preliminary approval. The company has been planning the project since 2006.

The plans have met with stiff resistance from many who live nearby.

The company also still is considering building a mini-city of up to 6,000 homes and 15,000 people. Such developments, called “fully contained communities,” are allowed under Snohomish County rules but only one, near Lake Roesiger, has been formally proposed. None have been built. The County Council is planning to conduct a public hearing today on a proposed moratorium on mini-city applications.

McNaughton said the rural-cluster project was not in danger, even with the downturn in the housing market.

Still, he said, the partnership “just buys us time to not have to worry about the economic cycles.”

Granite Land Company was formed in 2000 as the real-estate investment and development arm of its parent company.

Granite Construction Inc. does road grading and paving for local governments and produces construction materials such as gravel, sand, asphalt and concrete, said Scott Wolcott, president of Granite Land.

He said the company was impressed with the McNaughton Group and is familiar with the Northwest.

“We like the overall economy, we like the job growth up there and we like the caliber of the jobs,” Wolcott said. “I think it’s one of the bright spots nationally.”

Granite Land already has a presence in Western Washington as the owner of Wilder Construction. That company, with several offices in the state, including in Everett, does extensive work for local governments.

Granite Land also is an investor in the McCormick Woods master-planned community near Port Orchard, and is currently involved in four projects in the western United States, Wolcott said.

Ellen Hiatt Watson, leader of the opposition group 7 Lakes, isn’t daunted by the new investor.

“Does that mean I think they’re going to get everything they asked for? No,” Watson said. “It just means it’s not dead. We knew this was not going to be a short-term project.”

Wolcott said he’s aware of the opposition.

“There is opposition to most new development,” he said.

Reporter Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439 or

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