Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Sequalitchew Warehouse Public Hearing on Hold

Above: A red-tailed hawk soars above the trailhead of Sequalitchew Creek in DuPont earlier this month. A public hearing tentatively scheduled for October 24 regarding the proposed development of two large warehouses near the creek has been cancelled.

Project Applicant Meets with Interested Parties

By Janine Gates
Little Hollywood

A public hearing for the proposed development of two large warehouses in the City of DuPont near a historically and environmentally sensitive area near Sequalitchew Creek has been cancelled.

The hearing in front of a hearing examiner had been tentatively set for October 24 but an environmental determination for the property has not yet been reached.

Once the city gathers more information, an environmental decision about the project will be issued by the city and a hearing date will be set.

The project applicant, DuPont Industrial Partners LLC, represented by Barghausen Consulting Engineers of Kent, is learning more about the concerns of those interested in the area’s environmental and historic significance.

Known as Lot Y, the 21 acre wooded site where the proposed warehouses would be located is on the northeast side of Sequalitchew Creek off Center Drive behind a residential community. 

According to the application, warehouse operations would generate significant traffic and other operational activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The peaceful 1.5 mile trail follows the creek near City of DuPont city hall and ends at the mouth of Sequalitchew Creek and Puget Sound, just north of the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. 

The area is abundant with wildlife and is a favorite destination for families, bird watchers, and photographers.

The Sequalitchew area was the site of a year round village for the Sequalitchew-Nisqually Indians over 5,700 years ago. 

The land for the proposed warehouses is also the site of the historic Methodist Episcopal Mission, the first non-permanent, Euro-American settlement on Puget Sound. Built in 1839, the Mission burned down in 1842.

The site is also the area where approximately 4,000 Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th Cavalry camped and held several military maneuvers from 1904 to 1912.

A discussion among representatives of invited organizations was held at City of DuPont city hall on October 10th. The meeting was held at the request of the property owner and project applicant. 

Invited interest groups included the Nisqually Indian Tribe, Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation, DuPont Historical Society, United Methodist Church Commission, the Nisqually Delta Association, and the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Tacoma.

The applicant sought input from the groups to help identify the cultural and historic features on the site and seek input on how to preserve and tell the history of the site. These and other entities have long worked to create a National Historic District in the project area.

The applicant invited the stakeholders back for a follow-up discussion sometime during the last week of October, City of DuPont community development director Jeff Wilson told Little Hollywood.

Little Hollywood has written several stories about the proposed project. For photos and more information, go to Little Hollywood at www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com and type key words into the search button.

For more information about the property and to stay up to date on future public hearings and meetings, contact Jeff Wilson, City of DuPont Community Development Director and City SEPA Official, at jwilson@dupontwa.gov or (253) 912-5393, or go to www.dupontwa.gov.

Above: The Sequalitchew Creek Trail in Pierce County is a favorite with families. Two warehouses totaling 258,400 square feet, or over five acres, are proposed to be built 100 feet from the creek.