Coles Road development moves ahead

Five months after 40 acres on Coles Road were annexed into the city of Langley, a preliminary plat approval is being sought to begin development of that property.

The property’s current owner, Gordon Iverson of IP Forestry LLC, submitted an application for approval March 17 in partnership with Bellingham developers Pacific Crest Partners LLC. In a recent interview, Jeff Johnson, one of the four partners with Pacific Crest, said the group has a contract with Iverson to purchase 40 acres adjacent to the Langley Sewage Treatment Plant after the approval. The acreage was annexed into city limits by Langley in January, and until then has not had any development plans for its future seen by the city of Langley.

Pacific Crest approached the city to discuss annexing the acreage in 2003. The annexation was rejected by the Langley City Council at that time. After downscaling its proposed housing development, Pacific Crest approached the city again in 2004, and won an approval of the annexation in January.

Several conditions were set for the developer in the annexation agreement. The development was limited to 24 single-family homes, and the city required that 30 acres be left as open space. Under the agreement, walking trails are also to be built on the land.

In addition, Pacific Crest will give 12 acres located on the west side of Coles Road to the city of Langley.

Since January, Johnson said a traffic and wetland study was completed as required for the pre-plat application. He said some small traffic modifications for the development’s roads were made after further analyzing the topography of the property.

According to Donna Keeler, Langley’s city planner, a public hearing will likely be held in June to allow for more public comments, questions and feedback on the pre-plat approval and Washington State Environmental Policy Act determinations. Pending the pre-plat approval, she said the applicants will be able to begin developing the property in order to obtain final approval.

Items like developing the roads, and the addition of sewer and water systems will be conditional to gaining the plat’s final approval. Johnson anticipated it could be several more months before applications are approved, civil drawings are completed and construction companies are hired. Depending on how fast the application schedule runs, construction will be contingent on seasonal limitations. He did not know when preliminary construction could begin on the roads and utility improvements.

“We haven’t made that determination yet,” he said.

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