• Rezoning may allow big box stores on rural land near Snoqualmie


    SNOQUALMIE, Wash. - Rural land next to the city of Snoqualmie may be rezoned to allow big box stores like Walmart or Costco.


    It's all part of a huge update of the Comprehensive Plan now being considered by the King County Council.


    Just north of Interstate 90 -- just outside the southwest corner of Snoqualmie -- lies land where the trees far outnumber the homes.


    "It's nice and quiet," said Wallace Ip, who owns land nearby. "It's not well developed yet."


    Planning documents show the land is designated as a rural area, but the county is considering a change that could open it to commercial development.


    Video from Chopper 7 shows how the land sits next to an already well-established housing development.   It could eventually add to the city of Snoqualmie's tax base.


    The environmental group Futurewise believes developers want to build big box stores like Wal-mart or Costco here, but says there's plenty of urban land for that elsewhere.


    "We need to be just making sure that we are protecting our existing boundary, making sure that we're growing within our existing cities and protecting that rural character for future generations," said Brock Howell of Futurewise.


    The County Council may ultimately decide to keep the area rural or to launch a study that could put off a decision for a year or more.

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