An architectural model of the planned development of 3,080 waterfront condos at Point Wells near Woodway. (Blue Square Real Estate)

An architectural model of the planned development of 3,080 waterfront condos at Point Wells near Woodway. (Blue Square Real Estate)

Point Wells development proposal, once rejected, rises again

A real estate group has resubmitted permits for the project. There’s no timeline yet for a decision.

WOODWAY — A proposal to build thousands of condos on Puget Sound near Edmonds has resurfaced.

Backers of the plan met a court-imposed deadline to resubmit paperwork by Dec. 18. They did so last week.

King County Superior Court Judge John McHale had given the developer additional time to seek approval for approximately 3,000 condos at Point Wells near Woodway after Snohomish County denied the project last year. The land-use petition revisited a hearing examiner’s conclusion that BSRE Point Wells’ project could not be built as proposed. On appeal, the Snohomish County Council upheld the examiner’s decision.

Then the judge gave BSRE, an acronym for Blue Square Real Estate, a lifeline to reactivate permits for the high-rise project. The decision focused on whether development applications had been processed correctly under the urban center code when they were submitted in 2011.

“They met the deadline that the Superior Court judge gave them,” said Ryan Countryman, a supervisor with Snohomish County’s Planning and Development Services department. “We just need to digest this before we decide how to proceed.”

There is not yet a timeline for a decision.

BSRE has wanted to redevelop the industrial site, in the farthest southwest corner of Snohomish County, into 3,081 condominiums plus amenities, such as restaurants and public beach access. Redevelopment would take place in four phases. Each phase would involve building a single underground parking garage with multiple buildings on top. The total property area is about 61 acres, of which 16 acres are tidelands that would remain largely undisturbed.

In previous proposals, BSRE’s plans have called for 46 buildings at Point Wells. Almost half of the proposed buildings would exceed 90 feet, with the tallest reaching 180 feet — roughly 17 stories. Surrounding neighborhoods consist almost entirely of single-family homes.

Efforts to reach attorneys representing BSRE were unsuccessful on Wednesday and Thursday.

If approved, construction could last 20 years or longer.

The site has been in industrial use for more than a century and would require an extensive environmental cleanup. It’s currently used to store marine fuels and for mixing asphalt.

County planners last year recommended that hearing examiner Peter Camp turn down the project. They noted that the application had been pending for seven years and that BSRE had already received three deadline extensions. BSRE’s representatives asked for more time in consideration of court appeals and other circumstances that slowed their work by several years.

Camp declined to grant an extension, and the permits expired about a year ago.

Under the court decision, BSRE was required to address those issues the examiner identified last year. Those included traffic and transit access. The examiner also said the plans placed proposed buildings too close to marine waters, and that there was unfinished work to address landslide and earthquake hazards.

At this point, the only way to drive to the site is through two-lane Richmond Beach Drive in Shoreline. The proposed condo development would include a second access road to 116th Avenue West in Woodway.

Reporter Stephanie Davey contributed to this story.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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