Frognal Article

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Public Comment session with the County Council yesterday!  Attached is the article from the Herald on the Frognal development, published this morning.

Mr. Lakhani is trying to put the best spin on a bad situation.  It has been over a year since the Alderwood Water and Wastewater District (AWWD) told Frognal developer Lakhani and Merle Ash, owner of the design firm Land Technologies, that their sewer design was not constructible (see attached letter from AWWD’s consultant).  If Frognal has not been able to come up with an engineered sewer design solution acceptable to AWWD in over 1-year, I think it unlikely that they ever will.

The site of the Frognal Estates subdivision while it was being logged in December 2018. (Noah Haglund / Herald file)

Lakhani is technically correct that if he can come up with new financing by July 24th, solve the sanitary sewer design problems, and redesign the project to the current stormwater manual, he could still move forward with the project.  But what lender would want to stake a $10-million bet in this economy on a project that has yet to show it is even feasible to construct?

Likely Lakhani’s comments will be sufficient to freeze any action by the County, until July 24th.  Still, if you feel inclined, a follow up e-mail to the County Council ( requesting a code change to prohibit issuance of Class IV FPA permits and prohibit early clearing of development sites until all other permits have been issued, would be helpful.

Attached is a full copy of the trustee notice that was posted at the site.

The “third-party geotechnical engineer” that Ryan Countryman referred to in the article is likely Associated Earth Sciences (AES), Inc.  AES is the geotechnical designer on the project and are far from being an independent or impartial consultant.  AES is paid for by Lakhani and serves at this beck and call and has a biased stake in the outcome.

Sno-King Watershed Council will file a public records request with the County for any inspection reports, etc. submitted by the geotech designer.

Given PDS’s rubberstamp approval of the Snow Ridge development and PDS’s failure to identify the landslide hazard created by the Snow Ridge developer, there is low confidence in PDS’s geotechnical abilities to identify an incipient slide, or even more important, take any meaningful mitigation once a slide commences.  Landslides often start slow, before becoming catastrophic failures.  In any event, the site is likely stable for the summer;  but the landslide risk will increase again with next winter’s rains and further decay of the stabilizing tree roots.

Lastly, Countryman is wrong that the land disturbing activity permits are good until 2022.  The project was designed using Ecology’s obsolete 2005 drainage manual and if the project is not graded down to finish grade by June 30, 2020, the project must be redesigned using Snohomish County’s current stormwater manual and a new design submitted, per its Municipal NPDES permit.