Granite Falls puts new sewer connections on hold

A surge of residential development is on track to eat up its remaining sewer capacity.

GRANITE FALLS — The city is putting the brakes on new applications to connect to its sewer system in response to a surge of residential development that is on track to eat up its remaining sewer capacity.

The Granite Falls City Council on April 11 approved a six-month moratorium on most new connections. The city’s wastewater treatment plant can handle an estimated 643 more residential units. As of April 6, the city had approved or accepted applications for 555 units.

The moratorium is expected to slow development in Granite Falls, city manager Brent Kirk said, but the countywide building boom continues. The goal is to have a design, cost estimate and financing options to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant by the end of the six months. If not, the City Council could consider extending the moratorium.

The most likely project to increase capacity would be an expansion of the wastewater treatment plant, Kirk said. Designs have not been completed. The price tag could be upwards of $14 million. A council presentation suggests that the city should “closely monitor the housing market to assess long term demand. The intent — avoid putting the cost of the new facility on the current rate payers.”

Granite Falls has a population of about 3,748 people, according a presentation by city staff. That is expected to jump to 8,482 by 2038.

Developers are looking beyond large cities to find land they can build on, and homebuyers are venturing farther afield, too. Granite Falls still has sizable properties without slopes, wetlands and other features that complicate construction, Kirk said, and homebuyers seem to be attracted by the small-town feel.

“You can’t find that in other neighboring communities closer to I-5 because they have grown so much in population over time,” he said in an email

New homes in Granite Falls have been purchased by people moving from Woodinville, Redmond and “areas in the county that have become more crowded and expensive to live in year after year,” Kirk said.

Not all applications for new sewer connections will be denied during the moratorium. Exemptions include construction of a house or two-unit duplex on an existing lot, or a commercial project in the general commercial zone that does not exceed available sewer capacity.

Though the moratorium has passed, a public hearing is expected in May. It allows the council to affirm their vote, modify or revoke it. An engineering consultant plans to talk about the city’s sewer capacity and needed improvements to the system.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Ariel Garcia, 4, was last seen Wednesday morning in an apartment in the 4800 block of Vesper Dr. (Photo provided by Everett Police)
How to donate to the family of Ariel Garcia

Everett police believe the boy’s mother, Janet Garcia, stabbed him repeatedly and left his body in Pierce County.

A ribbon is cut during the Orange Line kick off event at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘A huge year for transit’: Swift Orange Line begins in Lynnwood

Elected officials, community members celebrate Snohomish County’s newest bus rapid transit line.

Bethany Teed, a certified peer counselor with Sunrise Services and experienced hairstylist, cuts the hair of Eli LeFevre during a resource fair at the Carnegie Resource Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Carnegie center is a one-stop shop for housing, work, health — and hope

The resource center in downtown Everett connects people to more than 50 social service programs.

Everett mall renderings from Brixton Capital. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)
Topgolf at the Everett Mall? Mayor’s hint still unconfirmed

After Cassie Franklin’s annual address, rumors circled about what “top” entertainment tenant could be landing at Everett Mall.

Foamy brown water, emanating a smell similar to sewage, runs along the property line of Lisa Jansson’s home after spilling off from the DTG Enterprises property on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. Jansson said the water in the small stream had been flowing clean and clear only a few weeks earlier. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Neighbors of Maltby recycling facility assert polluted runoff, noise

For years, the DTG facility has operated without proper permits. Residents feel a heavy burden as “watchdogs” holding the company accountable.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Stanwood in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Stanwood man gets federal prison for selling fentanyl on dark web

In 2013, Christerfer Frick was sentenced to nine years for trafficking drugs. He began selling online upon his release in 2020.

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

Dan Templeman speaks during a forum lead by The Daily Herald on housing affordability at the Mukilteo Library on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
At Herald forum, experts affirm Housing First model, despite downsides

At the Mukilteo Library, panelists discussed drug-contaminated housing and lengthy cleanup efforts in Snohomish County.

Molbak's Garden + Home in Woodinville, Washington closed on Jan. 28 2024. (Photo courtesy of Molbak's)
Molbak’s, former Woodinville garden store, hopes for a comeback

Molbak’s wants to create a “hub” for retailers and community groups at its former Woodinville store. But first it must raise $2.5 million.

A fire at a home near Alderwood Mall sent one neighbor and one firefighter to the hospital. (Photo provided by South County Fire)
Officials: Residents returned to burning Lynnwood home to rescue dogs

Five people and six dogs were displaced in the Thursday afternoon house fire, according to South County Fire.

Featuring a pink blush over a yellow background, WA 64 combines qualities of Honeycrisp and Cripps Pink (aka Pink Lady) for a firm, crisp, sweet and tart bite. A naming contest for the new apple runs through May 5, 2024. (Photo provided by Washington State University)
Hey Honeycrisp, this new breed of apple needs a name

Enter a naming contest for WA 64, a hybrid apple with the same baby daddy as Cosmic Crisp.

Police respond to a wrong way crash Thursday night on Highway 525 in Lynnwood after a police chase. (Photo provided by Washington State Department of Transportation)
Lynnwood woman, 83, killed in wrong-way crash following police pursuit

Deputies said they were chasing a man, 37, south on Highway 525 when he swerved into northbound lanes, killing an oncoming driver.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.