The following timeline gives some key events that occurred leading up to the developer’s application to build more than 6,000 residences and 1.1 million square feet of commercial space.
1850 to 1870: Ten percent of the land in the lower 48 states was set aside to help finance and operate the transcontinental railroad and telegraph systems. Public corporations were entrusted with millions of acres of public land and instructed to build and operate the nation’s transportation and communications systems. Instead, much of the public’s land was transferred to timber, mining, and real estate corporations. Some of that land is today being considered for development in Black Diamond.
1990: Washington State Growth Management Act passes. This prompts Plum Creek Timber to act to ensure its land holdings are inside urban growth boundaries.
Dec 31, 1996: Passage of the Black Diamond Urban Growth Area Agreement (BDUGAA). This allows for annexation of land into the city limits of Black Diamond and extends the urban growth boundary, making it likely that the land now slated for the Master Planned Development (MPD) will be developed. However, the King County Council and others involved are told at the time that the expected urban growth will be about 1500 households.
1996 – 2009: Moratorium on MPD’s in Black Diamond to allow for city planning.
2008 and 2009: Numerous updates are made to city codes and ordinances to allow the MPD.
June 2009: Current City of Black Diamond Comprehensive Plan adopted. This plan talks about “rural by design,” leading many to believe development will be limited. However, the plan may not have enough detail or specific rules to require a rural growth pattern.
Sep 24, 2009: Petition for East Area Annexation approved by Mayor Botts: http://www.ci.blackdiamond.wa.us/Depts/Clerk/Resolutions/2009/09-641.pdf. Now that the city has annexed most of YB property, the land is governed by city code and not King County land use rules and zoning.