The site for a 286-townhome development called Cathcart Crossing along Highway 9 near Snohomish also has plans for a park and ride nearby. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

The site for a 286-townhome development called Cathcart Crossing along Highway 9 near Snohomish also has plans for a park and ride nearby. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Hearing examiner’s order holds up Cathcart park and ride

Initial plans had the stormwater system designed under urban zoning rules, but the property has rural zoning.

CATHCART — Plans for a park and ride near Cathcart Way and Highway 9 are on hold but set for another hearing in April.

The property is owned by Snohomish County, which negotiated with developer D.R. Horton to build the park and ride. It was part of the deal to build 286 townhomes on former county-owned property near the future parking lot that some neighbors opposed.

In January, county planning staff sought a 30-day continuance of the hearing to address proper drainage regulations, spokesperson Jacob Lambert wrote.

But hearing examiner Peter Camp remanded it back to the county and developer to resolve the stormwater drainage system. It initially was prepared under urban zoning regulations but the property has rural zoning, according to the examiner’s order.

Camp also posed several other questions for the county and developer to answer about the proposed 154-stall park and ride, including who maintains it, who holds the use permit, what structures will be built, if Community Transit and the county have necessary approvals, and what conditions are needed for construction and operation.

In public comments, people said they were concerned about crime, light pollution and more traffic from the development and park and ride. The hearing examiner last year rejected those as “insufficient reasons” to deny a lawful project.

Debbie Wetzel, who unsuccessfully appealed the development’s approval last year, said she plans to challenge the park and ride as a way to halt the entire project.

“This does not belong here, there’s no infrastructure,” Wetzel told The Daily Herald. “If the park and ride fails, then the whole house of cards falls.”

She said the rest of the development is tied to the park and ride because it could be extra parking for the homes nearby.

The county’s transportation element in the comprehensive plan, a guiding document for planning, lists Cathcart Way and its adjoining roads between Highway 9 and Paine Field as a transit emphasis corridor. That designation means it gets targeted for higher density land use, bike and pedestrian infrastructure and high-occupancy vehicle roadway improvements, according to the document.

Plans for a 286-townhome development, fast food restaurant and mini-storage at Highway 9 and Cathcart Way. (Snohomish County Planning and Development Services)

Plans for a 286-townhome development, fast food restaurant and mini-storage at Highway 9 and Cathcart Way. (Snohomish County Planning and Development Services)

Bus route 109 between Lake Stevens and the Ash Way Park and Ride near Lynnwood runs along Highway 9 and Cathcart Way. Community Transit staff proposed boosting its weekday service to 30-minute frequency, which could help riders connect with light rail more often next year pending board approval.

Community Transit is developing a new Swift Orange bus rapid transit line between Edmonds College and McCollum Park Park and Ride in Mill Creek. Swift Orange service is set to begin next year and would connect with light rail at the Lynnwood City Center station once it opens.

The county and developer won’t need a new application or to restart the process, Lambert wrote.

The new hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 4 at the county campus public hearing room No. 2 at 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett and online via Zoom for which a link will be posted the week before.

Ben Watanabe: 425-339-3037;; Twitter: @benwatanabe.

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