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Welcome

Welcome to the City of Puyallup’s online engagement site for the Knutson Farms Environmental Impact Statement project. The City is leading the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed warehousing development on the approximate 188-acre Knutson Farm property located outside the City limits in unincorporated Pierce County. The EIS is an objective analysis of the likely environmental impacts of the proposal and measures to mitigate harmful impacts. We are committed to listening to our stakeholders and working with you to gather input to help inform the EIS. We’re glad you’re part of the conversation! Sign up for email updates.

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Project Updates

UPDATE: The City of Puyallup completed public outreach events on January 11 and January 17, 2024. January 11 focused on presentation of the findings of the Draft EIS and responding to questions from the public at a virtual (Zoom) meeting. A recorded video of that presentation may be found here . An in person public meeting was held January 17, 2024 at Pierce College where the public received the same presentation and provided verbal public comments. A public information open house was held prior to and after the presentation and public comment period. Both events were attended by 30+ attendees at each event.

PowerPoint presentation
Full record of comments at 01/17/24 public meeting

Project Updates

UPDATE: The City of Puyallup completed public outreach events on January 11 and January 17, 2024. January 11 focused on presentation of the findings of the Draft EIS and responding to questions from the public at a virtual (Zoom) meeting. A recorded video of that presentation may be found here . An in person public meeting was held January 17, 2024 at Pierce College where the public received the same presentation and provided verbal public comments. A public information open house was held prior to and after the presentation and public comment period. Both events were attended by 30+ attendees at each event.

PowerPoint presentation
Full record of comments at 01/17/24 public meeting

What's next? After the public comment period closes on March 15, 2024, city staff and the EIS consultant team will be compiling and responding to public comments. A record of those comments and staff responses will be distributed to the project email list and posted to the KnutsonFarmsEIS.org webpage. City staff and the EIS consultant team will be drafting the Final EIS thereafter and selecting a “Preferred Alternative” . Publication of the Final EIS is anticipated in fall of 2024.

Description of proposal and alternatives

The DEIS contains analysis of a proposed action and two alternatives. Under the No Action Alternative, none of the proposed facilities would be constructed.

The proposed development includes construction of an industrial park facility of up to 2.6 million square feet of building area. The project would include construction of seven warehouse buildings. Site work activities would include grading, paving parking and truck maneuvering areas, landscaping, water and sanitary sewer extensions, building a storm water facility, franchise utility improvements and roadway improvements.

Proposed Knutson Farms Industrial Warehouse site plan (2016)

Under Alternative 1, the facility constructed would be the same as described for the Proposed Action; however, rail lines would also be constructed to facilitate movement of materials into and out of the proposed facility. The proposed rail lines would be constructed to enable rail access to the seven proposed warehouses from the existing Meeker Southern rail line, which is located south of the Project site.

Alternative 2 considers the potential impacts that would result if the mitigation measures that reduce the site footprint of the facility, as outlined in this Draft EIS for the Proposed Action, were adopted by the Applicant. The total footprint of the Alternative 2 facilities would be reduced from about 2.6 million square feet to about 1.7 million square feet.

Where is the project located?

The Knutson Farms site is 188-acres. The site falls outside of Puyallup’s city limits but is within its Urban Growth Area (UGA.)

Click to enlarge
 

Environmental review

The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) is a state law that requires agencies to evaluate the likely environmental consequences of proposed development actions. SEPA provides direction for the environmental review process, including preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) for certain projects.

The City of Puyallup, as lead agency, acknowledges that there is public interest and concern about the environmental impacts of implementing the proposed development plan (Proposed Action). Based on the level of concern and the potential for impacts that may occur with the implementation of the Proposed Action, the City has determined that a SEPA EIS will be prepared to study impacts regardless of whether such impacts may be significant. The project’s Determination of Significance can be found in the Document Library.

  • An environmental impact statement (EIS) provides an objective analysis of the likely environmental impacts, feasible alternatives, and measures that would avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts.
  • An “impact” is a change in consequence that results from an activity. Impacts can be positive, negative or both. An EIS describes impacts and may identify ways to mitigate them.
  • There are three major milestones in an EIS – Scoping, Draft EIS, and Final EIS.

Scoping is the first step in the EIS process. During scoping, we invited agencies, tribes, and the general public to comment on the likely range of project alternatives and areas of impact that should be evaluated. These comments were used to narrow the focus of the EIS to the likely significant environmental issues, eliminate insignificant impacts from study, and identify alternatives for analysis in the EIS.

The project team has analyzed the following environmental elements within the DEIS. For each environmental element, we have evaluated the probable impacts associated with the proposed action and operations:

  • Transportation, particularly transportation systems and traffic
  • Public services and utilities, including stormwater, sanitary sewer and fire flow and fire protection services
  • Water, plants and animals
  • Cultural resources
  • Noise
  • Air quality, including greenhouse gases
  • Land and Shoreline use, including aesthetics, recreation, agricultural crops, and the project’s relationship to existing land use plans
  • Alternatives
  • Mitigation measures

The project team examined potential impacts and broke them into two categories: Construction and Operations impacts. Construction impacts would occur during the ongoing construction of the project, while operations impacts would continue throughout the lifespan and active use of the project site.

DEIS definition of impact significance: SEPA requires that an EIS analyze the adverse environmental impacts of a proposal and identify possible mitigation measures that will reduce or eliminate those impacts. For each environmental resource area, the following thresholds were considered for impacts:

  • Significant Impact: the impact is irrevocable; there are no regulatory requirements, design measures, and/or mitigation measures that would avoid, minimize, or reduce the potential impacts identified.
  • Mitigated Significant Impact: the potential impact identified is substantial and adverse; however, impacts could be avoided, minimized, or reduced with implementation of regulatory requirements, design measures, and/or mitigation measures.
  • Less than Significant: the potential impact is neither substantial nor adverse; no mitigation is required. However, Best Management Practices (BMPs) would be implemented to reduce impacts as appropriate.
  • No Impact: there are no identified impacts to the resource area.

A full list of DEIS chapters, as well as previous documentation, can be found in the Document Library.

Following the DEIS comment period, the City of Puyallup will prepare a Final EIS, including a response to comments received.

Knutson Farms EIS schedule

Fall 2020

  • Issue Second Request for Further Comments on Scope of EIS
  • EIS scoping

2021 through Fall 2023

  • Conduct fieldwork and impacts analyses
  • Prepare Draft EIS

Fall 2023/Winter 2024

  • Issue Draft EIS
  • Draft EIS public comment period

Summer 2024

  • Prepare Final EIS
  • Issue Final EIS

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement describes the findings of environmental analysis across a comprehensive set of topics. Explore the sections below to learn more about key topics of community interest and related DEIS chapters. A full list of DEIS chapters, as well as previous documentation can be found in the Document Library.

Section 4.9 of the DEIS looks at transportation. See below for highlights from the DEIS, key mitigation measures, as well as to link to a comprehensive summary of the impacts analysis and proposed mitigation measures associated with these actions.


‘Build scenarios’ studied in the traffic impact analysis report:

The six scenarios shown in Table 4-32 were considered and analyzed for the expected project completion and operation year 2026.

Table 4-32. Build Scenarios Analyzed

Build Scenario Total SF Total Daily Trips Total PM Peak Hour Trips Total Heavy Vehicle Trips
A – Proposed Action 2.6M SF 8,724 vpd 880 vph 1,482 vpd
B – Rail scenario (Alternative 1) 2.6M SF 8,487 vpd 729 vph 1,207 vpd
C – Proposed Action, with mitigation 2.6M SF 8,724 vpd 880 vph 1,482 vpd
D – Reduced land use scenario (Alternative 2) 1.73M SF 5,844 vpd 590 vph 998 vpd
E – Reduced land use scenario (Alternative 2), with mitigation 1.73M SF 5,844 vpd 590 vph 998 vpd
Note: M = million, SF = square feet, vpd = vehicles per day, vph = vehicles per hour

Intersections and corridors studied in the traffic impact analysis report:

Thirty-five counted intersections and three safety study corridors were studied in in the DEIS, shown below in Figure 4-60.

Figure 4-60. Intersections and Safety Study Corridors Evaluated

Key mitigation measures:

Figure 4-65 below depicts the locations of the intersections needing mitigation.

Figure 4-65. Intersection Mitigation Vicinity Map

Scenario C (proposed action) – Traffic Impact Mitigation Applied

Intersection Location Mitigation Applied
Traffic Ave/Fryar Ave & Main St/Cannery Wy Retime and coordinate signal
Traffic Ave & State St Retime and coordinate signal; this intersection requires retiming even though it meets LOS thresholds due to proximity to SR 410
E Main Ave & SR 410 WB Retime and coordinate signal length, eliminate split phase signal operations by restriping intersection and allowing eastbound and westbound left turns to run concurrently
E Main Ave & SR 410 EB Retime and coordinate signal
N Meridian Ave & Valley Ave NE No mitigation applied
E Pioneer & 25th St SE Unsignalized – no mitigation applied
E Pioneer & Shaw Rd E Retime and coordinate signal
Shaw Rd E & Highlands Blvd Unsignalized – no mitigation applied
Shaw Rd E & 5th Ave SE Widen 5th Avenue and convert unsignalized intersection to a signal with dedicated westbound left and right turn lanes. Widen 5th Avenue to a 3-lane roadway section; widen 5th Ave to a three-lane roadway section; retime and coordinate signal
SR 162 & 80th St Convert to roundabout

Scenario E (Alternative 2) – Traffic Impact Mitigation Applied

Intersection Location Mitigation Applied
Traffic Ave/Fryar Ave & Main St/Cannery Wy Retime and coordinate signal
Traffic Ave & State St Retime and coordinate signal; this intersection requires retiming even though it meets LOS thresholds due to proximity to SR 410
E Main Ave & SR 410 WB Retime and coordinate signal length, eliminate split phase signal operations by restriping intersection and allowing eastbound and westbound left turns to run concurrently
E Main Ave & SR 410 EB Retime and coordinate signal
Shaw Rd E & 5th Ave SE Widen 5th Avenue and convert unsignalized intersection to a signal with dedicated westbound left- and right-turn lanes with dedicated westbound left- and right-turn lanes; widen 5th Ave to a three-lane roadway section; retime and coordinate signal
SR 162 & 80th St E Convert to roundabout

Other mitigation:

Additional mitigation to offset impacts to roads include ADA accessibility, transit stop improvements, proportional fees for impacts to volume-to-capacity/congestion to local major corridors and pavement impacts will apply to the project. See section 7 of the traffic impact analysis and Appendix E - traffic report.


Summary of environmental analysis and mitigation

Table 1-1 summarizes the potential environmental impacts associated with the No Action Alternative, Proposed Action, Alternative 1, and Alternative 2 as well as the potential mitigation for the identified impacts. Click here to see the summary for Section 4.9 – Transportation.

Section 4.5 of the DEIS looks at land and shoreline use. See below for highlights from the DEIS, key mitigation measures, as well as to link to a comprehensive summary of the impacts analysis and proposed mitigation measures associated with these actions.


Future land use designations:

Analysis in the DEIS includes consideration of future land use designations identified in both the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan and City of Puyallup Comprehensive Plan, as shown in Figures 1-41 and 1-42, below. The land use analysis evaluates the Project’s potential to result in land use conflicts and/or plan and policy inconsistencies that would consequently be considered land use impacts.


Key mitigation measures:

  • LU-1: Development limits on city Comprehensive Plan designation areas. During building permit review and prior to design approval, the Applicant should provide a revised site plan that limits development to areas designated as Auto-Oriented Commercial, B/IP, and LM/W as shown on the City’s Comprehensive Plan future land use map only; any future development permit applications would not construct or develop on lands designated RBR in the city Comprehensive Plan. This could result in Building C being removed and Buildings A and E being shifted, relocated, redesigned, and/or reduced in size. Eliminating development from areas designated RBR on the CPCP map would be consistent with the City's FLUM, which was developed in cooperation with the County policy priorites to preserve agricultural land.
  • LU-4 Conservation Easement. LU-4 Conservation Easement: The applicant should voluntarily place a conservation easement on areas of the Project site that are currently identified as planned for open space uses. This would be consistent with the Pierce County Alderton-McMillin Community Plan’s desired conditions to “maintain the rural character of the community into the future” (A-25) and with the City of Puyallup Comprehensive Plan Policy LU-9.2, which calls for using conservation incentives for preservation of agricultural lands as part of an urban growth strategy and the Project site being located within a mapped Open Space Corridor network (Pierce County Comprehensive Plan Goal LU-115, Goal LU-119, Goal PR-21 and Policy PR-21.3).

Summary of environmental analysis and mitigation

Table 1-1 summarizes the potential environmental impacts associated with the No Action Alternative, Proposed Action, Alternative 1, and Alternative 2 as well as the potential mitigation for the identified impacts. Click here to see the summary for Section 4.5 – Land and Shoreline Use.

Section 4.13 of the DEIS looks at noise. See below for highlights from the DEIS, as well as to link to a comprehensive summary of the impacts analysis and proposed mitigation measures associated with these actions.

Analysis in the DEIS considers the maximum permissible environmental noise levels (dBA) at receiving locations, as presented in Table 1-69. Under WAC 173-60-050 (4)(l), sounds created by motor vehicles are subject to the maximum permissible environmental noise levels when those sounds are received in EDNA Class A Environments (i.e., parks or residential areas).

Table 1-69. Distance from Operating Vehicles Maximum Allowable Noise Levels

Source: HDR 2022
Nighttime Daytime
Maximum Allowable Noise Limit (dBA) 50 55 60 65 60 65 70 75
Allowed Exposure per hour N/A 15 min 5 min 15 min N/A 15 min 5 min 1.5 min
Passenger/Light Duty Vehicles N/A 50 ft 25 ft N/A 25 ft 25 ft 25 ft 25 ft
Heavy Duty Vehicles 2,000 ft 950 ft 450 ft 200 ft 450 ft 450 ft 100 ft 50 ft

Key mitigation measures:

  • N-2. Prioritize Construction of Noise Restricting Project Elements. In accordance with the community character elements of the Puyallup Comprehensive Plan (CC-2.3, CC-6.6, CC-11, and CC-11.1), the Applicant shall construct all required perimeter landscaping and berming, install required fencing, and plant required landscaping prior to beginning site work and building construction on site for all areas abutting Van Lierop park and where residential land uses are adjacent to or abutting the Project Site. Additionally, consider a grading plan that would store and stockpile earth in manner and location that would deflect and attenuate noise from the Project Site away from residential and public parkland uses throughout all phases of construction.
  • N-3: Construct Noise Walls. Noise walls would be required to mitigate noise generated from vehicle traffic on site. Twelve-foot-high noise walls would be required along all shared property boundaries with Van Lierop Park and along the Project boundary to the east of Warehouses E and G between the Project and the adjacent residential zones. The 12-foot-high wall was the shortest wall that would lower noise levels to below the maximum permissible noise levels as outlined in WAC 173-60-040 (HDR 2022).

Summary of environmental analysis and mitigation

Table 1-1 summarizes the potential environmental impacts associated with the No Action Alternative, Proposed Action, Alternative 1, and Alternative 2 as well as the potential mitigation for the identified impacts. Click here to see the summary for Section 4.13 – Noise.

Section 4.2 of the DEIS looks at surface water. See below for highlights from the DEIS, as well as to link to a comprehensive summary of the impacts analysis and proposed mitigation measures associated with these actions.

Surface waters considered in this analysis include the Puyallup River and its floodplain, onsite wetlands in the floodplain to the east (Wetlands A, B, C) and Wetland D, a depressional wetland located on the high terrace in the southeast KFIP project site.


Key mitigation measures:

  • SW-1 Evaluate the outfall erosion issues prior to Hearing Examiner hearing and prior to County and Hearing Examiner approval and final KFIP permitting and take corrective action as needed to redesign, repair, or relocate the stormwater outfall structure or components of the Project-wide stormwater management plan in relation to future flow increases from the KFIP Project site.
  • SW-4 Surface and Groundwater Hydrology monitoring prior to final site design and construction in all on-site wetlands to define hydroperiods13, as needed to develop effective plans to preserve current wetland hydrology, as required in Code.
  • SW-6 Wetland D impact avoidance. Avoiding impacts to Wetland D would prevent significant harm to this resource. The permitting agencies should review if the project has followed proper mitigation sequencing and if the objectives can be met without filling Wetland D. For more detail, see page 4-107 of the DEIS.
    • If the Project were revised to avoid all impacts to Wetland D and its regulated buffer, no significant impacts would occur to this resource on site.
    • The permitting agencies (Pierce County, and Ecology) should determine how the Applicant has properly followed standard mitigation sequencing, including initial avoidance of the impact altogether and site planning design changes needed to avoid or minimize loss of wetland and buffer area at Wetland D.
    • The permitting agencies should document if an alternate site plan that does not fill Wetland Dstill allows for reasonable economic use and if the Project objective can still be fulfilled without fill of and construction over Wetland D of the KFIP site.
    • If the mitigation sequencing were to be fulfilled, the Applicant is expected to prepare a mitigation plan and file a JARPA form with Ecology and Pierce County to initiate regulatory review of the current KFIP proposal, which is to fill a portion of Wetland D and its associated onsite buffer.
    • If fill of Wetland D and its buffer is permitted by all of the agencies listed above, a final detailedmitigation plan addressing Wetland D fill should be completed and implemented prior to construction, following standard mitigation and minimization sequencing protocols.
  • SW-7 Mitigation and monitoring plan. Depending on the outcomes of SW-6, per PCC 18E and Ecology requirements, a JARPA permit process would require a detailed mitigation and monitoring plan to be developed as conditioned during the review described above. For more detail, see page 4-108 of the DEIS.

Summary of environmental analysis and mitigation

Table 1-1 summarizes the potential environmental impacts associated with the No Action Alternative, Proposed Action, Alternative 1, and Alternative 2 as well as the potential mitigation for the identified impacts. Click here to see the summary for Section 4.2 – Surface Water.

Topic highlights: Effects to Aesthetics

Section 4.6 of the DEIS looks at aesthetics. See below for highlights from the DEIS, as well as to link to a comprehensive summary of the impacts analysis and proposed mitigation measures associated with these actions.

This section describes the potential for environmental impacts related to aesthetics as a result of Project implementation. Aesthetic experiences can be highly subjective; therefore, Project-related impacts are evaluated based on the extent of the modifications to existing physical conditions on the Project site as a result of the Project. Given the Project’s context and placement within an existing rural developed setting, this analysis follows a qualitative approach to assess the potential visual impacts related to the Project. This analysis was performed by defining the Project location and setting; identifying and characterizing the existing visual resources and key viewers; and assessing resource change and viewer response.

Key mitigation measures:
  • AES-2: Comply with Screening, Landscape and Buffering Requirements. The Applicant should use landscaping buffering to promote compatibility between land uses and to reduce the visual impacts of development on users of the site and abutting uses, including the proposed trail. The Project should comply with local building code regulations, including Title 18J.10.055(6) PCC, which requires landscape plans that include the locations and types of landscape buffers and maintenance measures. The landscape buffering should also comply with Title 18J.15.040 PCC, a Level 3 Landscape Buffers requirement, and provide a substantial mix of evergreen and other landscaping elements, including berms and sound walls that buffer the visual and auditory impacts. For more detail on this mitigation, see the full text.

Summary of environmental analysis and mitigation

Table 1-1 summarizes the potential environmental impacts associated with the No Action Alternative, Proposed Action, Alternative 1, and Alternative 2 as well as the potential mitigation for the identified impacts. Click here to see the summary for Section 4.6 – Aesthetics.

Section 4.7 of the DEIS looks at recreation. See below for highlights from the DEIS, as well as to link to a comprehensive summary of the impacts analysis and proposed mitigation measures associated with these actions.

The recreation analysis is based on consistency with plans and policies and includes general compatibility considerations by evaluating the Project’s potential to result in temporary or permanent loss of use of a recreation use/facility or a substantive change in overall user enjoyment or recreational experience.

Key mitigation measures:
  • REC-1: Eliminate Van Lierop Park Prime View Corridor Obstructions. During building permit review and prior to design approval, the Applicant should modify the proposed site plan to remove proposed structures from the view corridor and place a restriction on the title that prohibits blocking or in any way obscure, produce glare, or visually impact the view corridor created in Van Lierop Park as shown in Key Observation Point (KOP) 5. The Applicant should show (using visually aided representations of the vertical massing and height of buildings using architectural modeling software) that changes to the site plan have been fully made to avoid and mitigate impacts on the natural environment, the built environment, and the visual quality of these environments and the intent of Van Lierop Park Mount Rainier prime view corridor.Building F, as well as potentially portions of Building G (pending final visual analysis), would need to be eliminated, shifted, relocated, redesigned, and/or reduced in size to not create impacts. Additionally, no parking lot(s) or landscaping of trees should occur in the view corridor as those improvements would also create visual interference, glare, screening, and other visual blockage of the public view corridor of Mount Rainier from Van Lierop Park. The park view corridor area should remain as open space to prevent visual obstruction from a major community park. The Applicant and permitting agency (Pierce County) should consult with and receive concurrence from the city of Puyallup Development and Permitting Services and Parks Departments on the visual assessment during permit review by Pierce County. This mitigation measure is consistent with Pierce County Comprehensive Plan Policy LU-47.8 and Pierce County Comprehensive Plan and PROS Plan Policies PR 1.3 and PR 5.6, as well as City of Puyallup Comprehensive Plan Policy CC-1.3, Policy CC-2.2, and Goal CC-3.
  • REC-4: Modify the Site Plan to Provide a New Trail Location. The Applicant should modify the site plan to provide a new multipurpose trail location, one that runs along the southern bank of the Puyallup River consistent with the location identified in the 2020 Puyallup PROS Plan, as an extension of the existing Foothills/Riverwalk Trail, in keeping with the intended user experience of the Riverwalk Trail to provide the public with a visual connection and/or shoreline access to the Puyallup River. This should include conducting a Trail Routing Feasibility Analysis. The Trail Routing Feasibility Analysis should determine where the least impactful location would be to relocate the proposed trail along the shoreline of the Puyallup River; the Applicant should identify a trail route that will be in conformance with the County and City SMPs and PROS Plans, as well as minimize impacts on floodplain, CMZ(s) and critical areas, and mitigate for any impacts. Special designs—such as elevated boardwalks—should be considered to bridge wetlands, and maintain flood storage capacity and sensitive areas and buffers. Pierce County Parks, City of Puyallup Parks, and user advocate groups (Foothills Trail coalition, Friends of the Riverwalk Trail) should review the overall dimensions and cross section of the trail corridor. The trail design throughout the site planning should utilize significant landscape buffering to separate physically and visually the trail from the industrial park to protect the trail user experience from impacts from the Project operations while implementing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles and incorporating visual public access to the shoreline environment.
  • REC-5: Provide a Trail Connection to Van Lierop Park. Consistent with County and City policies calling for trail connectivity with other recreation facilities and community activity centers, the Applicant should provide a trail connection to Van Lierop Park (Pierce County Comprehensive Plan Policies PR-10 and PR-17.1, City PROS Plan Policy 2.3). This could be an east/west trail connection through the site plan to allow trail connectivity from the northwest corner of the park to the trail corridor as shown on the proposed site plan, though it is possible a different alignment may be preferred, for instance, if the site plan changes as called for in other mitigation measures in this EIS. One concept could be to modify the portion of the site containing Buildings F and G by creating a trail corridor break in the site plan to separate the complex into two separate sites with no vehicular access between them. This would create a protected corridor to allow for an east-west connection from Van Lierop Park to the proposed trail on the Project site. The trail corridor could also potentially be placed in the Williams Pipeline corridor, pending approval from Williams through an encroachment agreement. Any connection through the site should contain appropriate landscape buffering, raised crossings, limited/consolidated driveway/parking lot crossings of the trail, and other features to protect trail users, such as way-finding signage indicating “public trail connection” that allow for safe access to the trail. The Project Applicant and Pierce County should seek input from the City of Puyallup Parks Department and Development and Permitting Services Department as the site plan is revised to meet this mitigation measure.

Summary of environmental analysis and mitigation:

Table 1-1 summarizes the potential environmental impacts associated with the No Action Alternative, Proposed Action, Alternative 1, and Alternative 2 as well as the potential mitigation for the identified impacts. Click here to see the summary for Section 4.7 – Recreation.

We want to hear from you!

The DEIS comment period is open December 14, 2023 - March 15, 2024

Your input is important and will help the project team make decisions through the EIS process. There are three ways you can comment on the DEIS:

  • Online: Comment form below
  • Email: Send comments via email to comment@knutsonfarmseis.org
  • Mail: Written comments to:
    Puyallup City Hall
    Attn: Knutson Farms EIS comments
    333 South Meridian
    Puyallup, WA 98371
    (Please reference Knutson Farms EIS in your comment. A printable comment form is available here.)
  • Voicemail: (253) 251-2959

Helpful comment-writing tips:

  • Provide input on the analyses or mitigations you see presented in the DEIS, and why you support or do not support these findings.
  • Please note the specific chapter or topic, alternative, or mitigation measures related to your comment.
  • Please keep your comment statements separated by topic, if possible. This will aid our review and response to comments.
Virtual open house meeting

The City will hosted an online meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2024 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.. Staff presented an overview of the DEIS, followed by a question and answer session. You can view a recording of the Virtual Open House session here.

Open House meeting

The City will host an open house meeting on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Pierce College, Allied Arts and Heath Building, 1601 39th Ave SE, Puyallup, WA 98374. Staff will present an overview of the DEIS and be available to answer questions to inform public comments. Verbal public comments may be provided at this meeting. A map of the Pierce College campus is available here.

Stay Involved

Your input is essential! Please provide your comments below and include your email address to receive project updates, including issuance of the Final EIS and response to public comments.

Provide your comment

Document Library

Determination fo Significance Scoping

The City of Puyallup released the EIS scoping report comment summary related and all comments received during the scoping comment period, available here:

SEPA checklist (2016)

To learn more and access publicly available materials, visit Pierce County PALS Online and search permit ID numbers 792206 and 792210.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Below, you will find a list of all chapters within the DEIS, as well as a table (Table 1-1) summarizing proposed mitigations for each topic. Within these chapters you can find detailed information on the study area, methodology, findings and mitigations for each topic under each Alternative.

** Note that if you are using Adobe browser extensions/plugins, Bluebeam, etc., links to specific sections of the DEIS may not operate and you will need to navigate manually.

FAQs

The City of Puyallup (City) hired a team of environmental consultants to conduct a rigorous and independent review of the project in an environmental impact statement (EIS) prepared pursuant to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The Draft EIS is now ready for review, and the public has the opportunity to provide comments on the findings from December 14, 2023 to March 15, 2023. The City will review all comments received and prepare a Final EIS, expected in summer 2024.

Learn more about environmental review.

The 188-acre property is located in Pierce County, just outside of Puyallup’s corporate limits. However, the project area is within the City’s Urban Growth Area (UGA). According to the Washington State Growth Management Act and the City’s Comprehensive Plan, property located within a jurisdiction’s UGA is anticipated to someday be annexed into that jurisdiction.

The original development proposal was submitted to Pierce County by the landowner in 2014. The seven-building warehouse project raised several questions and concerns for the City of Puyallup about traffic impacts, utility needs, floodplain and wetlands management, and impacts to nearby parks among other areas of the natural and built environment. The City proposed in June 2016 that Pierce County and the City jointly prepare a full EIS, but this proposal was rejected. Given the number of unaddressed concerns about the proposal and location within the City’s UGA, the City therefore pursued legal challenges to the County’s environmental review. After Pierce County Hearing Examiner and court proceedings, in 2019 the Washington Court of Appeals issued a decision upholding the City of Puyallup’s right to act as the lead SEPA agency for the project and to require preparation of an EIS on it. The Washington Supreme Court subsequently dismissed Pierce County’s petition that the Court review (and potentially overturn) the Court of Appeals decision.

The Knutson Farms EIS project is currently focused receiving public comment following the issuance of the Draft EIS.

An EIS is prepared when the lead SEPA agency determines a proposal is likely to have significant adverse environmental impacts. The EIS process is a tool for identifying and analyzing:

  • Probable adverse environmental impacts
  • Reasonable alternatives
  • Possible mitigation strategies

The Final EIS (FEIS) will include objective ways that environmental impacts can be avoided or minimized and provides a basis for decision making about the project application. Once a decision is made to pursue a preferred alternative in the FEIS, the mitigation required to minimize environmental impacts should be integrated into the final design.

The Draft EIS looks at several alternatives, or options, for a proposed development. The DEIS will consider the following different scenarios:

  • Do not build the proposed development (No Action)
  • Build the proposed development as planned (the Proposed Action)
  • Consider other build alternatives, including
    • Alternative 1, which integrates a rail line into the proposed project, or
    • Alternative 2, which reduces the site footprint of the facility

For more details, see the Description of Proposal and Alternatives.

The project team reviewed all comments submitted during the EIS scoping comment period (November 17, 2020 through December 17, 2020). The City of Puyallup released an EIS scoping summary report, which summarized the comments received. Further, all comments received during the scoping comment period are now available on this website. Your comments helped determine the environmental factors to study. In some instances, factors that were not already planned for analysis were added to the scope based on your comments.

Scoping, the first step in developing the EIS, defines which environmental factors to study and the extent of analysis for each factor. As noted above, the scoping public comment period helped informed which factors to include in this EIS. The environmental factors for the EIS analysis include:

  • Transportation, particularly transportation systems and traffic.
  • Public services and utilities, including stormwater, sanitary sewer and fire flow, and fire protection services.
  • Water, plants, and animals.
  • Cultural resources.
  • Noise.
  • Air quality, including greenhouse gases.
  • Land and shoreline use, including aesthetics, recreation, agricultural crops, and the project’s relationship to existing land use plans.
  • Alternatives.
  • Mitigation measures.

SEPA also requires consideration of the cumulative impacts (WAC 197-11-060) of a proposal. Cumulative impacts are those impacts that occur when considered with the impacts from other past, present, or future actions or projects.

The Draft EIS was released on December 14, 2023. The 90-day public comment period opened upon its issuance, ending March 15, 2024 . Following review of the public comments, a Final EIS document is anticipated to be released in summer 2024.

The Draft EIS is an opportunity to comment on the alternatives being studied and comment on the environmental impact analysis of the project. We will ask tribes, agencies, and the public for the following comments on the Draft EIS, including the following:

  • Comments or questions on the technical analysis in the Draft EIS.
  • Comments that help us select a preferred alternative.
  • Comments related to the environmental topics that were studied.

Note, all comments received become part of public record and may be publicly displayed, including your name. Other personal details will not be published.

The City of Puyallup will consider all feedback from tribes, agencies, and the public before drafting the Final EIS. We will respond to timely comments in the Final EIS. Substantive comments are comments that help us refine the EIS analysis or select a preferred alternative.

The City, acting as Lead Agency, defined and studied reasonable alternatives in the DEIS and may identify (at the FEIS stage) a ‘Preferred Alternative’ that could feasibly attain or approximate a proposal's objectives, but at a lower environmental cost or decreased level of environmental degradation. The City anticipates making that final determination after considering all public and agency comments and input.

Pierce County has approval authority over many aspects of the overall project. The City has jurisdiction over certain discrete aspects of the proposal, such as specific roadway mitigation requirements and some utility connections (water, sewer). To ensure that significant impacts are mitigated, such permitting agencies when issuing final permits, should adhere to the mitigation recommendations made in the final EIS.

The Applicant and the City of Puyallup recorded a Declaration of Restrictive Covenant in August 2022 that establishes a stated intent to develop the Project as an “Industrial Park” consistent with the Institute for Traffic Engineers (ITE) Land Use Code (LUC) 130 (ITE manual, 11th edition). According to ITE LUC 130, “(a)n industrial park contains several individual industrial or related facilities. It is characterized by a mix of manufacturing, service, and warehouse facilities with a wide variation in the proportion of each type of use from one location to another.” As of the preparation of this document, the Applicant has yet to make a binding commitment on the final end user(s) of the proposed facilities. The restrictive covenant does establish that no “high cube fulfillment center” uses will be occupying the structures on site.