Puyallup Valley Industrial Warehouse Development Proposal

A number of private development proposals are currently pending in the vicinity of Shaw Road and East Pioneer, both within and immediately outside of the city of Puyallup’s corporate limits. 

Of particular interest to those who live in Puyallup is the proposed development of an approximately 162-acre site which, although outside of Puyallup’s city limits, is within its Urban Growth Area (UGA). According to the State’s Growth Management Act, property located within a jurisdiction’s UGA is anticipated to someday be annexed into that jurisdiction. This proposal, for development of a warehouse/industrial park complex comprising approximately 2.6 million square feet, is sited in the vicinity of 6719 134th  Avenue East. This project was undergoing permit review in unincorporated Pierce County. SEE BELOW FOR IMPORTANT UPDATES.

Knutson MDNS site plan

May 30, 2017 Update:

In response to the City of Puyallup’s issuance of a Notice of Assumption of Lead Agency Status for this project, Pierce County refused to honor the assumption by the City and stated its intention to continue processing the submitted development applications. (See Pierce County letter and City of Puyallup letter.)

Pierce County had issued a mitigated determination of non-significance for this project; the City of Puyallup issued a determination of significance with its assumption. These different determinations are incompatible. The County has appealed the City determination of significance, and in turn, the City has appealed the County determination.

Given the County’s continued refusal to accept the City’s assumption of SEPA lead agency status, the City of Puyallup filed a declaratory action on Friday, May 30th in Thurston County Superior Court. The action requests injunctive relief and a writ of prohibition to resolve the incompatible determinations.

May 10, 2017 Update:

The City of Puyallup has issued a Notice of Assumption of Lead Agency Status and associated Determination of Significance (DS) for this project. As noted therein and consistent with applicable statutes, the City is inviting comments as to the scope of an Environmental Impact Statement for this project within 21 days of this determination, or by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Comments may be submitted as follows:

Mail: Tom Utterback, SEPA Responsible Official, Development Services Department, City of Puyallup, 333 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA  98371


Any agency or person may appeal this Determination of Significance by filing a written appeal, pursuant to Puyallup Municipal Code Sec. 21.04.205, within 14 days of this determination, or by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Appeals must be submitted to the Puyallup City Clerk, 333 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA  98371.

May 8, 2017 Update:

The City of Puyallup has continued to review and provide comment on the applicant's submittals for this development. Although substantial issues and concerns were raised by various commenting agencies and individuals, including a request for an open public process and co-lead review status by the City of Puyallup, Pierce County recently issued its preliminary determination and therein determined that this 2.6 million sf project is not significant.
2016 Information

Pierce County has zoned this site as “Employment Center (EC).” In the recent and distant pasts, the property was utilized for farming.

Originally submitted in late 2014, the proposed development underwent little permit action until it was resubmitted to Pierce County earlier this year. The preliminary site plan showed more than 3 million square feet of industrial (i.e. warehouse distribution and freight movement) space in seven separate buildings.

The project assumes the construction of a new 5th Avenue SE road segment off of the Shaw Road overpass and the widening of 134th Avenue East.

In addition to several different applications—Short Plat, State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), Shoreline, and Administrative Design Review—the applicant has submitted a preliminary landscaping plan and preliminary flood plain grading and compensation plan.

The city has commented multiple times on this proposed development, first in December of 2014 and again in October of 2015. In these letters, the city communicated numerous questions and concerns relating to traffic impacts and mitigation, needed utility extensions (water and sewer), floodplain and stormwater management, and the long-anticipated connection of the Riverwalk Trail in this area. The city is additionally interested to determine how the proposed development would affect surrounding properties, including the land which was recently acquired for the future Van Lierop Park.

Additional comment letters were submitted in June of 2016 and July of 2016 by the City's consultant on this matter. The July letter referred to and transmitted, as an attachment, information on possible traffic impacts of the proposed project. In addition, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has recommended the development be modified in the interest of protecting salmon habitat and to reduce flooding risks.

Contact information for pertinent legislative and administrative officials at Pierce County is as follows:

Pierce County Council

Marcia Lucero, Project Manager, 253-798-2789, mlucero@co.pierce.wa.us

Dennis Hanberg, Pierce County Director of Planning and Land Services,
253-798-2754, dhanber@co.pierce.wa.us

Sean Gaffney, Planning Manager for Pierce County, 253-798-2724, sgaffne@co.pierce.wa.us

Related Documents