A group of neighbors opposed to the proposed East Monroe Rezone took their fight to the Central Puget Sound Region of the Washington State Growth Management Hearings Board. On Aug. 26, the board overturned a ruling made by the City of Monroe in December of 2013 which changed the zoning of the property from limited open space to general commercial.
Owners of the 48 acre parcel northeast of the U.S. 2/Main Street intersection have been attempting to rezone the land since 2004. The rezone has been a source of controversy for neighbors citing environmental, traffic, wildlife and flood control concerns.
Resident Lowell Anderson has long spearheaded the opposition to the rezone, and was recently joined by neighbors Doug Hamar, Chad McCammon and the Blair Family, who took the city’s ruling to the State Growth Management Hearings Board, Central Puget Sound Region.
The city’s ruling was overturned primarily due to environmental factors including that the property is within Shoreline Management Act jurisdiction; the area includes habitat for endangered fish; the area includes high-functioning wetlands; the stream within the land is listed under the highest stream classification; the property sits under landslide-prone slopes; the property is flood-prone and that the former studies of the property were inadequate.
It is not known at the time of this writing if the city will appeal the decision. The Monitor will have more on this story in the Sept. 9 issue.