Pierce County’s chief planner has politely turned down the city of Puyallup’s offer to help review a St. Louis developer’s plans to convert 187 acres of farmland to a warehouse park.
The Puyallup City Council has questioned the wisdom of creating such a huge development just outside the city. That development would be served by an arterial, Shaw Road, already overwhelmed with traffic at rush hours.
The county’s decision was a setback for the city’s efforts to have a bigger voice in decision-making for the tract. Had the county approved of Puyallup’s offer, that action would have been unusual. The county normally solely handles land use decisions outside Pierce County cities.
In a letter to Puyallup City Manager Kevin Yamamoto, Dennis Hanberg, Pierce County’s director of planning and land services, said the county will retain the lead in reviewing the application to convert the former Knutson Farms property into a light industrial development.
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“Our State Environmental Policy Act and project review process is thorough and clearly follows state and county code,” Hanberg wrote.
The land is just outside the Puyallup city limits but is within the city’s urban growth boundaries.
The council, lead by Deputy Mayor John Palmer, has suggested the new development would encroach on land needed for flood protection and create new traffic that will further jam the nearby arterials. Citizens against the development have created an online petition opposing the park, and the city has recruited local Indian tribes and cities to express reservations about the plan.
The developer, the Michelson Organization, is revising its original plan for the tract, Hanberg said. The developer had planned to site some 11 buildings on the property totaling some 3 million square feet of space.
“We expect submittal of a revised site plan and supporting materials soon,” the county planning director told the city.
Michelson is no stranger to the Northwest. It developed the Sumner Corporate Park on the north side of that city, recruiting such tenants as Amazon, Lululemon Athletica and the Kellogg Co. as tenants.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663