A Seattle consultant has been hired to study the environmental impacts of a proposed 739-unit housing development on Chuckanut Ridge. They will provide information to the city to determine what it will require of developers. The decision is being criticised by a group opposed to the Fairhaven Highlands project. Responsible Development says the Fairhaven Highlands project would harm an important and sensitive wetland habitat on Chuckanut Ridge.
Developers Horizon Bank and David Edelstein will pay $50,000 for the consultant to create the environmental impact statement and up to $25,000 to reimburse a city planner’s time in managing the project..
The consultant ESA Adolfson estimated 489 hours would be needed to develop the environmental impact statement. The next closest estimated 979 hours. This is also drawing criticism from Responsible Development, objecting to the consultant because it was recommended by the developers and its time estimate was less than half of the next closest bid.
Planning Director Tim Stewart said the time estimate doesn’t matter much because the contract will have to change anyway if the city discovers the study’s scope should need to be widened. “In my opinion, they’re probably the best firm to do this work,” Stewart said.