ORTON JUNCTION/EAST HILL
What happened with Orton Junction?
On October 25, 2011, the Pierce County Council approved their Comprehensive Plan Amendments, including U-3a, which added about 182 acres in the Orton Junction area to Sumnerís Urban Growth Area and U-3b, which removed about 284 acres on the East Hill out of Sumnerís Urban Growth Area. The amendment package passed unanimously. However, the amendments were challenged and are now in the court process.
What will go in Orton Junction?
The vision is for a planned mixed-use development that incorporates retail and restaurants, an agricultural industry support program, and a mix of housing options. There is also the potential for a fire-training facility and a movie theater.
Will these services compete with the restaurants and shops already in Sumner?
No. Studies showed that a lot of Sumner and east Pierce County residents are traveling into King County to buy goods and services. In fact, each year over $46 million in taxable sales goes from our area to King County. Orton Junction allows for more diversified shopping and dining experiences that currently do not exist while retaining Sumnerís historic downtown for unique, independently owned boutiques and shops. In addition, retaining and attracting more shoppers to this region will help support existing businesses.
What are the environmental impacts of this proposal?
The City conducted an extensive environmental impact study with the input of a variety of environmental experts and organizations. You can still view the draft Environmental Impact Statement as well as the Final Environmental Impact Statement. No major adverse environmental impacts were identified. In fact, because the project puts services and housing near existing population centers, it reduces traffic congestion and air pollution from extensive driving.
Why pull the East Hill area out of Sumnerís Urban Growth Area?
The County prefers that when someone asks to add area to the Urban Growth, it removes at least that same amount. Because of Sumnerís dedication to using land efficiently, Sumner asked not only for a direct swap of acreage but to remove 100 additional acres from the urban growth area.
In the 16 years that East Hill has been in the Sumnerís urban growth area, no property owner has asked to be annexed into the City. Currently, the 284 acres contains 246 parcels, which means there are no large parcels to develop and accommodate future growth as is supposed to happen within urban growth areas. In addition, many property owners in the area clearly do not want to shoulder the extensive cost that would be required to bring City infrastructure, including water, sewer, and roads, to their area.
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. 1104 Maple Street, Suite 250, Sumner WA 98390
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