Workers began clearing Nov. 5 for the Frognal Estates development near Picnic Point. (Noah Haglund / Herald file)

Workers began clearing Nov. 5 for the Frognal Estates development near Picnic Point. (Noah Haglund / Herald file)

Judge reverses Frognal order, says logging can move ahead

An environmental group wanted to halt work at the Mukilteo-area subdivision until a court hearing next year.

PICNIC POINT — A judge Tuesday denied an environmental group’s request to halt logging at the Frognal Estates subdivision near Mukilteo, reversing an order from last week.

The decision from King County Superior Court Judge Barbara Linde superseded a temporary stay she issued Friday. Linde gave no reason for the denial.

Crews can move ahead with logging and erosion-control work for the 112-home development in unincorporated Snohomish County.

The president and CEO of Integral Northwest, the Everett-based developer behind the project, said Tuesday that his company has been “thorough, diligent and transparent.”

“The county has completed detailed and exhaustive reviews of all permit applications to make sure they comply with all applicable laws and regulations before issuing permits,” John Lakhani said. “Our approved permits incorporate best practices and quality designs.”

Lakhani said the Frognal project would resemble the Regatta Estates neighborhood he finished next door in 1995. Many Frognal opponents live in Regatta Estates.

The nonprofit Sno-King Watershed Council wanted the court to halt work that began last week at the Frognal site for road access and erosion control. The group is challenging forestry and grading permits for more extensive work, and wanted everything put on hold until a hearing in mid-February.

The group has argued that no logging should be allowed during the rainiest time of the year, when there’s a greater chance of sediment flowing into Picnic Point Creek.

The Watershed Council “feels that Snohomish County has not been enforcing its code requirements on the Frognal project and will continue to monitor and point out project failures and code violations as they become apparent,” said Bill Lider, a board member of the group.

The group and neighbors have challenged the project up to the state Court of Appeals, which ruled in the developer’s favor this spring.

The subdivision would take shape on 22 acres next to Picnic Point Elementary.

The project has been working its way through the county approval process since 2005. It adheres to older land-use and drainage rules. The development would use retaining walls and an intricate drainage system to cope with steep slopes.

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

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