By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
On Monday, June 3, 2019, Mill Creek Hearing Examiner Phil Olbrechts formally approved a binding site plan for a new multi-use East Gateway Urban Village development comprised of fourteen buildings including 354 residential apartment units and 100,000 square feet of commercial space on 17 acres at 4008 132nd Street SE.
This action concludes a sometimes contentious approval process that began in March 2018.
Olbrechts determined that the new development called The Farm at Mill Creek conforms with all applicable development standards and made his approval with a long list of conditions negotiated during the 15-month process.
Now that the hearing examiner has made his decision, Mill Creek’s Design Review Board and Building Divisions can begin their reviews of The Farm at Mill Creek’s detailed construction and architectural plans.
The Design Review Board has already reviewed preliminary building elevations and landscaping plans for new development, giving architects a chance to fine tune their designs for Mill Creek’s specific design standards.
According to Mill Creek Communications and Marketing Coordinator Meredith Cook, “The applicant intends to divide up the large project into several submittals to the Design Review Board for review over the summer.”
She also said that the first submittals of the parking garage and Building D, a 9,000 square foot retail-use building, have already been submitted for the June 20th Design Review Board meeting.
Senior Mill Creek Planner Christi Schmidt said, “The developer also has submitted clearing and grading plans to the city, and the city is in the process of reviewing them.”
She went on to say that the developer has also submitted clearing and grading plans including stormwater retention vaults, roads, and utilities for review by the Building Division.
This means that construction activities will probably begin at the site in late June.
Cook wrote in a news release, “The development also includes public plazas and open space, along with landscaping and walking paths connecting to the existing trails on adjacent properties.”
The news release went on to say, “The project includes a 58-acre wetland parcel that is being rehabilitated as a wetland park. The developer recently purchased the land previously owned by Pacific Topsoils. An elevated footbridge will connect the development to the wetlands. The plans include trails, a learning center and additional parking offsite.”
The Farm at Mill Creek Binding Site Plan. Image courtesy of the City of Mill Creek.