Commentary: City responds to Change.org petition
| April 15, 2021 1:00 AM
The City of Moses Lake was recently made aware of a post to a Change.org website that made some incorrect claims about the Love’s development project. The city wishes to correct misstatements in an effort to assure the public that the city is working diligently not only to hold Love’s to the requirements of their permitting process but also to work with them on enhancements to the project that are over and above what has been required.
There is not a “bait-and-switch” situation with the Love’s permit. The Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS) required solutions to a number of environmental concerns and Love’s has to comply with the solutions they offered in order to obtain permits and they will be monitored not only by the city but by the Army Corps of Engineers and Washington State Department of Ecology.
Here are the facts:
• Love’s was allowed to proceed with grading on Oct. 21, 2020, to remove excess materials from the site consistent with their plans.
• The site development application was applied for on Jan. 15, 2021, and is ready to issue as the City’s review confirmed their plans are consistent with the requirements of the MDNS.
• The permit for the vertical construction was applied for on Jan. 29, 2021, and is still under review.
• The onsite stormwater runoff is handled by capturing it onsite and piping it to several detention swales.
• All drainage under the fuel canopies is collected onsite and drained through oil/water separators and then discharged to the sewer system per Department of Ecology requirements.
• Claims of statements of distance from Moses Lake were incorrectly referenced. The site is 2,900 feet from the lake and the building is 3,900 feet from the lake. The Laguna lagoons are not considered part of the lake. They stated the following in their documentation: Distance from Love’s building site to Moses Lake: Northeast corner to Moses Lake along I-90: 0.60 miles Northwest corner to Moses Lake along I-90: 0.75 miles Southeast corner to Laguna along Sage Road: 0.17 miles Southwest corner to Laguna Road: 0.42 miles
• The claim of vacant property on all sides: Love’s stated: The site is currently vacant. An adjacent property at the northwest corner of the site is an existing gas station and convenience store. Other parcels nearby/directly adjacent are vacant and undeveloped.
• The large site improvement along Pritchard is a replacement wetland for the area that was required as mitigation for the project. Love’s was required to complete a Habitat Assessment per the MDNS specifically for the northern leopard frog. The assessment concluded that the northern leopard frog was not on the site due to the abundant presence of adult bullfrogs.
• The city has worked with Love’s to upgrade their road design to lower entrances on Sage and provide truck diverters/traffic calming on Sage as it approaches the neighborhood.
• The city has denied Love’s requests to increase the height of the lighting of the site.
The city appreciates the engagement of our citizens in our planning processes, and asks for that continued involvement as the city works toward improving our processes. Two upcoming opportunities include the review of a new code section by the Planning Commission that would require neighborhood meetings before projects like this that are adjacent to residential neighborhoods move forward. The Planning Commission has a hearing regarding this code starting at 6 p.m., Thursday, April 15. The second process is with regard to the adoption of the city’s new Comprehensive Plan. The new plan will be followed by an updated zoning code, shoreline master program and critical areas ordinance. For those concerned about making sure the city’s plans and codes address concerns like those above, engaging now with input will set the stage for how code will be written in the future.
Allison Williams can be reached at 509-764-3702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.