MARYSVILLE – The city has put the brakes on final approval of planned new roads for the recently annexed areas of Sunnyside and Whiskey Ridge.
Neighbors who oppose the roads hired environmental attorneys who wrote a four-page letter to city officials asking them to reconsider.
After receiving the letter, the City Council asked staff to revisit the plans. A public hearing with the city’s planning commission is scheduled for June 12.
A planned connection from 67th Avenue NE to 71st Avenue NE is “extremely harmful, unnecessary and unlawful,” Seattle attorneys David Bricklin and Jennifer Dold said in the letter, dated May 14.
Sunnyside resident Tim Nixon and seven other residents raised about $1,400 for the attorneys’ time, he said.
Nixon’s home is one of nine parcels that could be affected by the road.
“If I want to sell my property or if I want to subdivide my property, it’s me, not someone telling me what to do,” Nixon said.
Precise routes for the roads have yet to be mapped. The staff will look more closely at how to route the roads so they would affect fewer residents, city planning director Gloria Hirashima said.
“There are other alternatives we could look at,” she said.
The roads in some form, however, are likely to be approved, Hirashima said.
“We do need to do something about transportation,” she said. “Status quo is not really acceptable.”
The proposed Sunnyside thoroughfare would curve to the southeast from the end of 67th Avenue NE and hook up with 71st Avenue NE at the intersection of 40th Street NE.
The proposed road in Whiskey Ridge would extend 44th Street NE to the east, then south and east to connect with the west end of Highway 92 at Highway 9.
The 67th Avenue NE to 71st Avenue NE connection is projected to cost $17 million.
Altogether, road improvements currently planned in the Whiskey Ridge-Sunnyside area are pegged at $48 million.
City officials don’t have a timeline for the improvements, saying they’ll be built as development occurs and funding becomes available.
The attorneys said to include the roads in the city’s long-range plans without funding is illegal under the state Growth Management Act.
City attorney Grant Weed disagreed, saying the law doesn’t prevent cities from planning for long-range projects and funding them later.
Reporter Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.