Federal Way City Council votes to study zone changes

Federal Way residents concerned about proposed zoning changes to various properties in the city will have ample time to share their thoughts with city officials in the coming months.

The Federal Way City Council voted 6-1 for city staff to analyze 11 resident-initiated site specific comprehensive plan amendment requests at its July 18 meeting.

Councilman Martin Moore was the single “no” vote.

The amendment requests center around zoning changes to various pieces of property in Federal Way, including near Lakota Middle School and six properties south of Wild Waves near Interstate 5 and Milton Road South.

Many residents in the surrounding communities spoke out against the amendments with concerns over increased traffic, preserving open space and maintaining low density.

One resident even went as far to say he would move out of Federal Way if apartments were built at the Lakota vacant property. At this time, however, the request to change 3 acres of single family to neighborhood business zoning does not include an associated housing project.

Many of the requests centered around the need for more housing in King County, however. Shelter Resources, Inc. owns a vacant 3.45-acre lot south of South 276th Street and east of Pacific Highway South and its goal is to change the zoning from single family residential to multi-family residential. Representatives envision a park and ride with transit-oriented development of about 130 units.

The requests that drew the most concerns, however, stemmed from the six zoning amendments on land near Milton Road South that is currently zoned for single-family dwelling units. Property owners are requesting the land be changed to single-family high density, but current residents believe it will be difficult to “punch a road through” the development for traffic and point out there is protected wetland on the property as well.

Although the council approved staff studying the following sites, residents will have multiple opportunities to share concerns and provide input before the council votes in the fall on each individual comprehensive plan amendment request. The Planning Commission will have a public hearing for the requests on Sept. 6, and a Land Use and Transportation Committee meeting will address the requests on Oct. 2. The City Council will do a first reading and discussion on the requests on Oct. 17, and the second reading and final vote is scheduled for Nov. 7.