This 2015 photo shows (L-R) Joseph Cospito, Gregg Lungren, Todd Zackey, Joan Smith and Emily Mydynski as they make their way out of the ravine near the Frognal Estates housing proposal. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

This 2015 photo shows (L-R) Joseph Cospito, Gregg Lungren, Todd Zackey, Joan Smith and Emily Mydynski as they make their way out of the ravine near the Frognal Estates housing proposal. (Kevin Clark / Herald file)

Neighbors band together to delay work on Frognal development

Appeals are pending on the project, which would put 112 homes on steep forested land south of Mukilteo.

PICNIC POINT — Neighbors parked cars to block heavy equipment from reaching the site of the long-contested Frognal Estates housing development on Monday morning.

The developer, Integral Northwest, has permits to put up erosion-control fences and log the property near Picnic Point Road, according to Snohomish County planners.

The mini confrontation ended after a brief stalemate. A deputy responded, but issued no citations or warnings. The workers left.

“Almost all of that site is designated as an erosion-hazard area, meaning that if there’s bare soil, it will probably erode,” said Bill Lider, an engineer with the Sno-King Watershed Council, a group fighting the project in court. “To go in and clear-cut and construct roads in the wet season — it’s irresponsible for the county to let them do that work.”

The Watershed Council intends to seek a court order this week to stay the initial work, Lider said.

The group also is pursuing a land-use petition in King County Superior Court to challenge a Snohomish County grading permit that’s necessary for more earthwork to take place. A court hearing in mid-February could determine whether the developer can move forward with the more extensive grading.

If completed, Frognal Estates would put 112 homes on about 22 acres. The property borders Picnic Point Elementary School and the Regatta Estates subdivision along Picnic Point Road, which the same developer built in the 1990s. Monday’s confrontation occurred on a street in Regatta Estates.

Managing drainage and erosion make it challenging to develop the steep, forested property. Opponents worry about consequences for nearby Picnic Point Creek, especially if any logging is allowed this winter.

Permit applications have been pending since 2005, originally under the name Horseman’s Trail. Progress slowed during the recession, but by 2015, an environmental impact statement was complete.

The county hearing examiner later approved the project. Neighbors have appealed that decision all the way to the state Court of Appeals, which ruled in the developer’s favor this past spring.

County planners say the initial work is allowed.

John Lakhani, president and CEO of Everett-based Integral Northwest, said his company had recent discussions with the county about this week’s activities.

The work was scheduled “pursuant to a pre-construction conference that was held with the county last week at the site, attended by all our consultants, contractor and the county representative,” Lakhani wrote in an email to The Daily Herald.

Critics of the development had sent County Executive Dave Somers 82 emails as of Monday morning, according to a spokesman.

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

This crash in Monroe happened early Friday morning after police discontinued a high-speed chase. Both occupants were taken to a hospital. (Monroe Police Department) 20211022
2 seriously injured in Monroe crash; DUI suspected

The driver hit a center lane divider and rolled his car. Police are investigating him for vehicular assault.

Alejandro Meza watches a video of the altercation he had with Gene Peterson on Community Transit bus during opening statements of his trial on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Murder trial opens for man who shot stranger on Everett bus

Alejandro Meza got into a fight with a passenger over drug use, he claimed. His attorneys say he acted in self-defense.

Police are searching for a female suspect following a burglary at the Masjid Umar Al-Farooq Mosque in Mountlake Terrace. (City of Mountlake Terrace)
Police arrest suspect in Mountlake Terrace mosque burglary

Another person remained at large, after burglars took prayer rugs and Qurans then threw them in a dumpster.

Arlington schools briefly on lockout; students, staff safe

A Mukilteo resident reportedly intended to die by suicide in a school parking lot. They were found and referred to care.

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, center, greets a new trooper during a graduation ceremony, as Gov. Jay Inslee looks on in the Rotunda at the Capitol Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Olympia, Wash. The class of 31 troopers completed more than 1,000 hours of training and will now work for the WSP across the state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Rather than get vaccine, nearly 2,000 state workers lose jobs

Ten troopers north of Seattle, 54 Monroe prison workers and hundreds more across the state refused the governor’s mandate.

Top row: Vanessa Edwards (left) and Ray Sheldon Jr. Bottom row (from left): Connor Krebbs, Wade Rinehardt and Katie Jackson. (Not pictured: Sherry Weersing)
After year of tumult, new faces vie for Marysville School Board

One candidate is concerned about “Critical Race Theory.” Others see more pressing issues.

Lake Stevens worker’s protection order granted against boss

The worker and his boss, Public Works Director Eric Durpos, were put on leave for an incident at a grievance meeting.

Police: ‘Prolific’ Marysville thief stole from dozens of gym lockers

The suspect, 23, was arrested this week for investigation of more than 55 felonies.

Most Read