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Public hearing on Langley Passage housing project continues

Developers of Langley Passage will get a chance to respond to community criticism as a public hearing continues Wednesday.

The hearing before the city’s Planning Advisory Board will be at 4 p.m. at Langley United Methodist Church at Third Street and Anthes Avenue.

Langley Passage, a proposed 20-lot development in the city’s Edgecliff neighborhood, has been in the pipeline since 2006.

Opponents are concerned about increased water runoff, sewers, the loss of trees, damage to the nearby wetland and increased danger of landslides at the bluffs overlooking Saratoga Passage.

The development, on 8.5 acres between Edgecliff Drive and Sandy Point Road, is planned by Whidbey Neighborhood Partners. Managing partner for the development is Gary Roth, owner of the Roth Co. of Freeland, which specializes in building custom homes.

The plan is for 20 “affordable” one- and two-story houses built along both sides of a private road. Most of the houses would be three-bedroom, and in the $350,000 to $500,000 price range, Roth said.

The development, which is situated at the bottleneck of a 426-acre drainage basin just south of Saratoga Passage, would feature green construction including rain gardens to minimize runoff, with up to 48 percent open space set aside and all but a few trees preserved.

At the PAB’s April 16 hearing, more than a dozen area residents spoke against the project. After developers respond to comments, another hearing will be scheduled to consider two environmental appeals.

The appeals were filed by Langley Critical Areas Alliance, an organization made up of Edgecliff neighbors and other Langley residents, and Whidbey Environmental Action Network, a local environmental watchdog group.

When the PAB finishes its work, a recommendation will be sent to the Langley City Council. The city’s planning staff has endorsed the project, saying it meets or exceeds development code requirements.

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