The date March 22, 2014 will live in the minds and hearts of Snohomish County residents for years to come. The Oso community's losses are more than tragic; they were our friends, our family, and our neighbors. For those who don't know, Oso's attraction is almost obvious - a small foothills community wealthy in tradition and the peaceful seclusion offered by the surrounding mountainous views.
Oso has seen donations of monumental proportions and that support continues to pour in yet Snohomish County is now faced with a new challenge - building.
A month after the Oso slide, the Everett Herald published an article titled County may prohibit building in landslide hazard zones. The article discusses Snohomish County Council's potential building moratorium:
"“It would be a six-month moratorium, which is all we can do by ordinance,” Council Chairman Dave Somers said. “It would prohibit any new construction, any new housing construction, within a half-mile of a landslide hazard zone throughout the entire county.”"
Since the article's publication, the Snohomish County Counsel has postponed the decision based on a released map of known and potential slide hazards. The impacts, for builders, encompass more than the Cascade foothill communities.
Below is the released map. [Map SOURCE]
The red areas are Washington State Department of Natural Resources Land Slide Hazard Areas and the orange areas are Potential Landslide Areas (CAR Modified Slopes Greater Than 33% with an Elevation Change Greater Than or Equal To 50 Feet). [Landslide SOURCE]
The hazardous slide areas, and potential areas, don't seem like they would halt building; however, the areas not threatened by landslides are in potential flood zones. A double wammy for builders.
In a Snohomish County Planning & Community Development meeting video is looking for advise on potential slide areas, known slide areas, and is looking for resident's input. Here is an excerpt:
"Its really really really important for us, whatever proposals that are brought before us, to get public input specially from the people in the Stillaguamish valley. We need those people to have input about whatever ordinance or proposals that come about because this impact them specially and I do not want something some unintended consequence that's going happen to make an already bad situation for them worse."
Council Meeting Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Video
One of the upcoming topics will be on "what is vesting?" since projects are always in a various stage of planning and permitting etc.
To be continued...