Officials, citizens get first look at proposed 270-unit apartment complex

Initial plans for the proposed Scriber Creek Apartments.
Initial plans for the proposed Scriber Creek Apartments.

Local officials and the general public got their first look Tuesday at a proposed $40 million, 270-unit Scriber Creek apartment complex proposed for 12 acres of land just north and east of the Albertson’s shopping center at 212th Street Southwest and 44th Avenue West.

The project’s developer, DevCo Inc. of Bellevue, held two community meetings at the Embassy Suites in Lynnwood to introduce the proposal to the public.

DevCo plans to bring the initial application for the project to Snohomish County in mid- to late July; they hope to break ground on the complex next summer, with construction to be completed in the fall of 2015.

The proposal calls for “several buildings” up to 60 feet tall, a mix of apartment sizes ranging from one to five bedrooms, 436 parking stalls, a recreation building, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fenced dog run. The plans also include more than 200,000 square feet of open space, almost all on the east portion of the site where Scriber Creek runs through the property. Access to the complex would be from 44th Avenue West.

While the site is entirely within unincorporated Snohomish County, the project has drawn the attention of officials from the Cities of Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Brier; each city had representatives at the 1 p.m. community meeting on June 18. Concerns from the three city officials included the proposal’s effect on Scriber Creek, 44th Avenue West traffic patterns, and an existing sewer line on the site’s southern border.

A handful of nearby residents were also in attendance at the meeting. They asked questions about security at the proposed complex, access to the open space and the effect on wildlife in the Scriber Creek wetlands.

Once applications for the project are filed, Snohomish County is expected to conduct a number of public meetings about the proposal.

— By Doug Petrowski

Scriber Creek Apartments proposal


  1. We cannot allow this to go through. This project will not only take away valuable wildlife habitat that is becoming ever so rare in our area, it will diminish the water quality of Scriber Creek even further.

    • It’s a permitted use of the property, there are environmental impact studies that have or will support it – possibly with modifications – and there are far worse things that could be put on that land than reasonable-cost housing.

      Look at the aerial view of the Retail property on the major corner next door. Notice all of the impervious acreage. Now look at the property in question. Notice the wide buffer between the structures and the creek.

      Runoff from the buildings and parking/road areas won’t flow to the creek.

      It might be unfortunate from your perspective, but people like Councilman Richards are jumping for joy at the thought of all of those potential customers a short stroll away from their retail businesses.

      • Hi Bob,

        I totally understand the need for affordable housing in our growing community. However, I also think it is necessary for us to stop the displacement of wildlife habitat in South Snohomish County.There are so few areas left untouched, including this one that it will be a mistake to let this one go for a company to make a few million dollars.

        And as for the development not having any impact on the water quality in Scriber Creek, which is home to the spawning ground of Coho Salmon from the Sammamish River and Swamp Creek, that’s simply not true. Of course large parking lots and the removal of trees and cutting back the buffer zone even further will harm the creek. In fact, a 147 report, released in 2006 by the Washington State Department of Ecology about the water quality of Swamp Creek identified storm water runoff from parking lots as a major source of pollutants in the creek (Scriber Creek is a tributary of Swamp Creek). Building this apartment complex along with the large parking lots will further lower the quality of water in Swamp and Scriber creeks and destroy habitat for salmon.

        • I looked at that report and, specifically, I looked at the areas of particular concern to watershed health around Swamp Creek – farms and septic tank-using regions. Those aren’t near Scriber Creek.

          Further, I didn’t see anything in the report saying don’t build. Mitigation and prevention, sure. But nothing about building moratoria in areas not creating specific concern.

          If you want to insist on a fence between the buildings and the buffer to make sure that dogs and kids don’t defecate there and contribute to the coliform load in Scriber Creek, that does not seem unreasonable.

          But to suggest that a project has to be stopped in an area not of specific concern based on a report that clearly points out areas of concern well spatially separate from the 212/44 area in question is not logical.

          I do appreciate you pushing me to go to the source, Mr. Khadivi, and if you have a specific reply that doesn’t boil down to the generalization ‘building is bad’, I’m all ears, electronically speaking.

          Look at p 39 of the report, which pertains to Brier. Look also at Appendix D, also pertaining in part to Brier. Nowhere does it say that building should be avoided. Neither should you.

          What is stated is that the majority of the drainage to Swamp Creek from Brier is from residential neighborhoods. Maybe we should just ban people.

          • Like I stated earlier, I do think there is a huge need for more affordable housing in the Mountlake Terrace area. What I don’t think we should be doing as a community is shortchanging future generations by detroying what’s left of our land untouched by human development.

            Of course this new development will have a huge impact on the creek since it is so close not to mention the destruction of one of the last true wildlife areas in the south county.

            We should be focusing on how to create smarter ways to use the land we have already deveopled rather than destroy what’s left of our natural resources that are quickly drying up.

  2. Just we we need in the area more apartments, I hope this does NOT go through….Boo for all who approved it..

  3. I, too, am concerned about the environmental impact of this project. Will has already pointed out the potential impact of the project on water quality, and I wish to point out the fact that the prospective construction area provides nesting habitat for many birds, as well as reptiles and small mammals. The affected buffer zone is made up of important native plants that shelter these creatures. If I am not mistaken, the area is a DFW priority habitat. While I am not saying outright that the project should not go through, I believe that there should be a careful weighing of the potential ecological consequences going beyond the ordinary survey process.

  4. Mr Khadavi at 12:01:

    “What I don’t think we should be doing as a community is shortchanging future generations by detroying what’s left of our land untouched by human development.”

    That’s a very different argument than your original argument, and one with which I have even greater quarrel.

    Initially you were against this project because it might harm a critical area. Now your argument has devolved into an objection to development on ANY previously unutilized land.

    I suppose that means that your plan to deal with population growth is ever-greater population density in existing areas so that what’s currently native can remain native. Town Center hi-rises and parkways widened for greater traffic. Congested, lower-quality life in the center of town so we can protect the fringes.

    The owner of that property is developing within permitted use limitations and hasn’t make this big splashy announcement without having done some due diligence. Storm water retention, diversion, etc. Environmental impact will certainly be addressed and modifications may be required. But the owner is acting within the law.

    The Seattle area now has 4.7% unemployment, I learned this morning. That means people will be coming here looking for work. They have to live somewhere. A location proximate to Park & Ride and planned light rail station seems reasonable to me. Or, perhaps we could convert the former City Hall site to high-rise dense housing and use the money we earn from that, and from the taxes of everyone who will live there, to continue to rent at our current City Hall location, thus preserving the Scriber Creek site in question. Life is a series of trade-offs, after all.

    • Actually if you look back at any of my comments my argument against this construction was more elaborate than just the point on the water quality of Scriber Creek. If we allow this large plot of land to be deveopled it will mark one of the very last pieces of undeveloped land in the South County disappearing forever.

      I AM NOT AGAINST DEVELOPMENT. I’m only against dumb development and the destruction of our wildlife habitat. The population of the city of Mountlake Terrace actually went down 2% over the last decade. While the overwhelming majority of our land, almost every single acre is deveopled. Where are we to develop once we have stripped every last tree and displaced every last creature?

      The answer is smart development. Building up rather than out, gradually. There is a lot more space in the sky than there is on the land. We are already starting to do that in the town center and post-WWII suburban cities such as our own across the country are realizing that land is not infinite and that they will soon run out of places to bulid. The answer is taking what we have and changing it to ready for the future not continuing to imbrace mindless sprawl.

      • Well, Snohomish County as a whole only grew 1.5% between 2001 and 2011 or so, so both are below the state average growth of about 14% during that period ( I googled). Since there’s plenty of undeveloped land in Snohomish County, lack of space probably isn’t the reason for limited population growth in the County. My guess: it is because it’s cheaper to live, elsewhere, in WA than in Snohomish County. But it’s only a guess.

        It isn’t all that easy to build in MLT. I’ve built in MLT. I wouldn’t do it again (granted, I wouldn’t build again, anywhere, period). My personal experience is that since MLT doesn’t have sports stadia, lots of high-end restaurants and hotels, or other ways to tax out-of-towners, it has to raise its revenue either by taxing citizens or businesses. My personal experience is that it’s businesses that get hit somewhat harder. A small permit that might cost $200 in Seattle is closer to $900 in MLT. This is not a complaint – services have to be paid for somehow and this is how MLT has chosen to do it. But it creates a drag on development – every added cost hurts in some way.

        It is not fair for an area like Brier, with zoning requirements specifying minimum lot sizes of 12,500 sq ft. in most areas, to then expect that anyone else coming into town be squeezed into far, far smaller spaces. It similarly isn’t fair for MLT property owners, lot sizes typically 7400-8600 sq ft, to expect newcomers to squeeze in on the 7th floor downtown if they want to live here. People have choices, this being a free society, and one of the choices can be to live someplace where it’s easier and less expensive to build, and where kids can reasonably have a large dog if parents so desire.

        Feel free to expect others to cram into high-rises while most of MLT lives comfortably in SFR with front and back yards. Just don’t expect it to happen unless you support the Orwellian concept of society. One person’s mindless sprawl is another’s desire for quality-of-life experience.

        Oh. One more thing. Isn’t mindless sprawl intended to mean developing AWAY from existing assets like a freeway? Isn’t this project within about a mile of a major interstate and P&R? What’s mindless about building in such close proximity? Seems more in keeping with the reasons for having P&Rs in the first place. Someone can walk from home to the P&R, then take the bus downtown. If it’s OK to do that at 236th, it should be just as smart to do it t 212/44.

  5. I believe in smart development. I have walked the property and there are many small springs and wetland areas that would have to be dewatered so they can be built on. Further reducing our important wetland areas. If the current owners of the property really need to sell why don’t they have a non-profit buy the land to preserve the large buffer and native conifers. This native forest/wetland could be preserved for education of younger generations and get them outside. It’s easier and cheaper to preserve these sensitive areas than to try and recreate them. Traffic would substantially increase in an already conjested area. Personally I think there are better areas that would be better suited for building. In lynnwood by cycle barn and on hwy99 between 188th st sw and 186th pl sw there is dry vacant land that is for sale. Or on the corner of 174th pl sw and hwy 99 in lynnwood. What I’m saying is there is many more places apartments can be built.


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