The developer of a former Puyallup Valley farm must spend millions of dollars on road and trail improvements before he can transform it into a warehouse park, Pierce County says.
But Puyallup Deputy Mayor John Palmer says the improvements will fall significantly short of coping with the new traffic generated by the new enterprise.
“We’re talking about an additional 7,000 vehicles a day,” Palmer said. “Two thousands of those will be trucks.”
The 162-acre tract is east of Shaw Road, south of the BNSF Railway tracks, west of the Puyallup River and north of East Pioneer Avenue.
Under the plan outlined by Pierce County, which has authority over the tract, most traffic will enter and leave the industrial park via a new intersection at Fifth Avenue Southeast and Shaw Road.
During rush hour, Shaw Road already is jammed with commuter vehicles.
Last month, the county laid out nine conditions Knutson Farms Inc. must fulfill to handle truck and car traffic generated by the industrial development.
The developer wants to build some 2.6 million square feet of industrial buildings on the site of the historic Knutson Farms, which abut Puyallup’s eastern boundary.
Puyallup envisioned less intense development on the farmland and opposes the project. The city asked to join with the county in setting standards for the land. The county declined.
The City Council had expressed dismay over the planned development, and the city had hired legal and land planning consultants to lay out the city’s vision for the land.
Palmer said the county had largely ignored the city’s input.
The county did require nine improvements to help handle the additional burden on the roads:
▪ Build a road called Fifth Avenue Southeast between Shaw Road and 33rd Street Southeast.
▪ Improve 33rd Street Southeast from Fifth Avenue Southeast to 80th Street East.
▪ Upgrade 134th Avenue East north of the new Fifth Avenue Southeast.
▪ Design and install a traffic signal at Fifth Avenue Southeast and Shaw Road East.
▪ Limit truck access to the site, to Fifth Avenue Southeast and Shaw Road East.
▪ Contribute $75,000 to Puyallup to improve trail crossings at 33rd Avenue East and East Pioneer Way.
▪ Give the city $600,000 to improve Shaw Road East between 12th Avenue Southeast and 23rd Avenue Southeast.
▪ Contribute $500,000 to Puyallup to help fund a traffic signal at Fifth Avenue Northeast and East Main.
▪ Pay $1 million to Sumner to help rebuild the overtaxed state Route 410 intersection at East Main.
Palmer said the city is preparing its response to the county regarding the plan.