Northern Gateway Study
Northern Gateway Area Study
On January 8, 2013, Covington's city council approved a contract for Phase 2 of the Northern Gateway Study. Phase 2 will focus solely on approximately 210 acres southeast of SR18, now referred to as the Hawk Property Subarea, which is located within the city's current Urban Growth Boundary. A Subarea Plan and a Planned Action Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that build upon the findings and outcomes of Phase 1 will be prepared over the course of this year. (Click on the image to the right to view a PDF of the Hawk Property Subarea boundaries.)
The development of the Hawk Property Subarea Plan involves preparation of a proposed land use plan, planning policies, zoning districts, and development regulations, as well as public participation and outreach opportunities. As part of the plan, the City, is preparing a non-project Planned Action EIS to evaluate how implementation of the subarea plan might impact environmental and infrastructure resources in the area, as well as how those impacts might be mitigated.
More information can be found in the Hawk Property Subarea Plan & EIS Project Fact Sheet.
One of the first steps in preparing an EIS is to conduct a scoping process to ask citizens and organizations for their concerns, comments and ideas. The City held a public scoping period (March 8 - 29, 2013) to gather public comments on the issues and opportunities that should be the focus of the EIS.
On Monday, March 25, 2013, the city hosted a community workshop where meeting participants gathered in groups to develop a concept of how the subarea could be developed with a mix of different uses, including parks, trails and natural spaces, roads, housing, and commercial uses. Groups identified these conceptual plans in an interactive exercise that used a base map upon which participants identified the location of the different uses within the subarea. A summary of the community workshop participant’s comments and subarea plan concepts will be presented at the Planning Commission’s April 4th meeting. (See page 6 of the April 4, 2013 Planning Commission Agenda Packet.)
The expected timeline for completion of Phase 2 is approximately twelve months with the final report expected to be submitted to the city council for review by December 31, 2013.
- Fri., March 8, 2013 – SEPA Determination of Significance & Scoping Notice of a Planned Action EIS.
- Mon., March 25, 2013 – Community Workshop at 6:30 p.m. in Covington City Hall.
- Thu., April 18, 2013 – Planning Commission meeting to consider the range of alternatives to be studied in the Planned Action EIS.
- *Tues., July 23, 2013 – City Staff & Planning Commission briefing to City Council on the Draft Planned Action EIS and Draft Subarea Plan and identifying a Preferred Alternative for the Final EIS.
- *Thu., August 1, 2013 - Planning Commission Study Session on the Draft Preferred Subarea Plan.
- *Thu., September 26, 2013 – Planning Commission Public Hearing on the Draft Preferred Subarea Plan.
- *Tue., October 22, 2013 -- City Council Study Session with Planning Commission on Final Peferred Subarea Plan.
- *Tue., December 10, 2013 – City Council Public Hearing on the Proposed Final Subarea Plan and Planned Action Ordinance.
*Date subject to change.
Please refer back to this web page for any updates to meetings and comment opportunities.
The Northern Gateway Study began in 2012 as a comprehensive multi-phased study of a 485-acre area located on the north side of the city. Phase 1 looked at 209 acres located within the city’s Urban Growth Area (UGA), and another 275 acres, north of SR 18 located outside of the city’s UGA. The city’s goal in Phase I was to consider the impacts of future urban development within the Northern Gateway area.
On February 29, 2012, the City of Covington issued a Request for Proposal (RFP), for consultants to complete an Urban Growth Area (UGA) analysis, a potential annexation study, a subarea plan, and proposed zoning district classifications and zoning guidelines for the area identified as the “Northern Gateway.” The city received several proposals and selected a team lead by Stalzer & Associates and BERK Consulting to embark on the Northern Gateway Study. The city council approved a contract for the Phase 1 scope of work on April 24, 2012.
Phase 1 (April- August 2012)
Phase 1 began with a Kick-Off meeting on April 26, 2012 between the consultant team selected by the city, city staff, and staff from other local public service providers.
An Informational Open House was held on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 from 6:30 to 8PM at Crestwood Elementary School. City staff and members of the consultant team gave an overview of the study and then broke into small groups to listen and answer questions from property owners and residents about existing conditions, their needs and concerns within the study area.
After listening to public comments at their Tuesday, August 14, 2012 meeting, the city council discussed the Northern Gateway Area Study report (Phase 1) and voted to forward a request to the King County Council and Executive staff to add the entire 275 acres of land commonly referred to as the “Notch” to Covington’s Urban Growth Area (UGA) during their review of the King County Comprehensive Plan this fall. Mayor Harto sent a formal letter on behalf of the Covington City Council to the county council outlining the city’s support of this request and a copy of the Northern Gateway Area Study report for their review.
At its September 11, 2012 meeting, King County's Growth Management Planning Council (GMPC) decided not to include the "Notch" in its recommended UGA changes.
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