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WOODINVILLE, WA-A $50-million development mixing this city’s popular wineries with restaurants and housing was thrown into limbo this week when the city council went against the recommendation of its planning commission and tentatively nixed an amendment that would undo the city’s ban on residential development in the Tourist District. The city council will take further comment on Dec. 13 before making a final decision.As proposed, the wine village would rise on 18 acres at the intersection of State Route 202 and Northeast 145th Street. The 480,000-sf development would include five stand-alone winery buildings totaling 50,000 sf on one portion of the property and a residential-over-retail development on the remainder that would consist of 140,000 sf of retail and restaurants beneath about 270,000 sf of residential, most likely condominiums. In addition, the project included underground parking and cobblestone walkways. The tentative groundbreaking date is mid-2005, with completion slated for late 2006. Council members said they like the wine village proposal, but indicated they needed to “study” things in greater detail before approving projects that don’t mesh with its current Tourist District zoning. Mike McClure of MJR Development, the would-be developer of the village, tells GlobeSt.com the project won’t fly without the residential component. “They’re worried [about making the right decision] because they care, and we appreciate that,” says McClure. “However we believe there are enough protections built into the proposed process” to give the council the security it needs to keep moving forward. The company met with more than 50 community groups en route to earning the recommendation of both the planning commission and the city’s public works director. As further security, MJR agreed to enter into a development agreement with the city, giving council members the opportunity to work through design standards, conditions and implementation details to make sure their concerns are dealt with. “We could take down a smaller chunk of land and instead a smaller strip retail project, maybe 20,000 sf along the street, like what is already there,” says McClure. “But the whole premise is that we don’t think that is the right direction, it’s not going to create the kind of tourist destination development that the city is envisioning. ” The big question now is how long the city council might take to mull over whether it wants people living as well as shopping and eating in its Tourist District. Some council members expressed interest in waiting until after the council reconsiders the town’s Downtown and Tourist District master plans next year.”We can handle a short delay; we can’t handle a year-long delay,” he adds. “ We have tenants that need to move in and have commitments from us when that will happen. We also have options on the land parcels that will expire.”In November, the planning commission gave a do-pass recommendation to the city council, approving of the residential component but decreasing its proposed density to 12 units per acre from the 18 units per acre MJR had requested. The change would drop the project’s unit total from 270 to 200 but not change the amount of residential square footage, allowing the developer to increase unit size to offset the fewer number of allowed units.

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