The site of the Frognal Estates subdivision was logged in December. Snohomish County is preparing to issue a grading permit for more extensive work on the proposed subdivision near Picnic Point Road. (Noah Haglund / The Herald)

The site of the Frognal Estates subdivision was logged in December. Snohomish County is preparing to issue a grading permit for more extensive work on the proposed subdivision near Picnic Point Road. (Noah Haglund / The Herald)

Frognal Estates gets another key county approval

An environmental group is demanding more complete sewer designs for the 112-home development near Mukilteo.

PICNIC POINT — Frognal Estates is poised for another leap forward.

Snohomish County is preparing to issue a permit that would allow the 112-home subdivision to move toward construction, over the objections of neighbors and environmentalists.

With the approval, the developer could clear the 22-acre property near Picnic Point Road, beyond the logging that began last year. The grading permit also opens the way for the construction of roads, utilities and retaining walls. If completed, the project would include 112 houses.

Ryan Countryman, a county permitting supervisor, called the approval “the culmination of a long review process.”

“We’re still in that short period before the permits actually get issued,” Countryman said this week.

It’s unclear when construction would start.

Developer Integral Northwest, of Everett, won a series of court battles for the project, which must address drainage and slope stability on steep terrain south of Mukilteo.

The property sits just north of Picnic Point Elementary School. As part of the build-out, 60th Avenue West and 58th Place West would be extended into the new neighborhood.

The first permit application for Frognal was submitted in 2005 under the name Horseman’s Trail. The project stalled during the recession and was subject to a full environmental impact statement. Its current name comes from a London neighborhood.

The Sno-King Watershed Council has led the appeals against the project. Bill Lider, an engineer and board member with the Watershed Council, believes the county should require complete sewer-system designs before issuing the grading permit.

Countryman said that’s not how it works.

“This project will involve months of construction,” the permitting supervisor wrote in an email to Lider. “It will be some time before the work reaches a point affecting the proposed new sewer line. If the applicant has not finalized the engineering details with Alderwood Water and Wastewater District by then, the construction may need to pause or proceed differently. It is up to the applicant to risk such delays. Postponing commencement of construction would increase the likelihood of (work) continuing into the autumn wet season, which is exactly one of the things you have been asking us not to allow.”

Lider said construction could wait until 2020.

“By allowing the Frognal developer to proceed without having an (approval) for the sewer alignment risks having a half-completed project come the rainy season,” he wrote. “This in turn increases the risk to downslope properties and homes.”

John Lakhani, president and CEO of Integral Northwest, said his staff has worked with the county to review public comments, including those from the opposition. They made changes as a result.

“The project as designed meets or exceeds all applicable code requirements,” Lakhani wrote on Friday. “We invite the public to independently fact-check any allegations being made against this project by groups, such as Sno-King Watershed …”

John McClellan, the engineering and development director for Alderwood Water & Wastewater, said the sewer approval is for the most part unrelated to the county’s permit process.

“We’re spending more time reviewing where the sewer leaves the property and goes down a steep slope,” McClellan said. “We want to make sure that the sewer main is constructed in a way that it does not create problems for that steep slope.”

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; Twitter: @NWhaglund.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

Mountlake Terrace Library, part of the Sno-Isle Libraries, in Mountlake Terrace, Washington on Thursday, June 1, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Sno-Isle workers cite safety, unfilled positions in union push

Workers also pointed to inconsistent policies and a lack of a say in decision-making. Leadership says they’ve been listening.

A view over the Port of Everett Marina looking toward the southern Whidbey Island fault zone in March 2021. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County agencies to simulate major disaster

The scenario will practice the response to an earthquake or tsunami. Dozens of agencies will work with pilots.

Most Read