M aple Valley City Council has delayed a bit longer a decision on a permanent zoning change that could impact whether shops and restaurants can move into a central area near Four Corners.
The council voted tonight to extend the interim zoning of the Northwest Quadrant for three more months — until May 31 — to give the Planning Commission time to present a final recommendation on the permanent change.
Without the vote, the interim zoning would have expired at the end of this month, making the area unavailable to retail developers.
Under the extension, the commission will have time to hold a public hearing this Wednesday, Feb. 15, on the permanent change and make a recommendation to City Council on March 5.
The new Central Commerce zoning is designed to attract retail developers to the acreage, which lies north of the Four Corners intersection behind Johnson’s Home and Garden.
Deputy Mayor Victoria Laise Jonas noted that plans to develop this area of Maple Valley into a retail area began in 2005, but the once-enthused community lost interest because the plans have been delayed repeatedly.
“That is a long time,” she said tonight. “This is a very important issue for the present, for the future, for the vision of our community.”
The delay came in part because the existing businesses already located there did not want their former zoning designation – business park – to change. The owners of the existing auto repair shops and storage facilities — among other businesses — say the new zone decreases their property value and their ability to expand.
Read more about this dispute HERE.
Council approved the interim commercial zone last April, and the Planning Commission is trying to accommodate some of the existing businesses in order to make it permanent.
“I think the Planning Commission has worked hard at a set of compromises,” Director of Community Development Ty Peterson said tonight, acknowledging that the new zone won’t alleviate all concerns. “Is everybody going to be a winner in that? Probably not.”