I had the opportunity yesterday to drive out to the new Hidden Creeks Rural Cluster East of Storm Lake. We had been out there earlier but the front gate was closed; yesterday the gate was open. It turned out there was a reason why: they are trying to sell houses! They have a lot built but a lot that aren't sold. It seems that in the middle of the Snohomish County housing shortage, there appears to also be a money shortage. I picked up a couple of property sheets: one was asking $520,000 and the other was around $620,000. This is for houses clustered into lots smaller than 3/4 acre and next to one another on a single street.
The Rural Cluster justification for this is to save the rural landscape and preserve the surrounding natural vegetation. In this case, by making a big clear hole in the forest, cutting back on the required buffers along part of the north side, and cramming all these house into a small space. An example of what Panther Lake Ridge will turn out to be.
I suspect part of the reason that it is not selling well is that it is too far out. Three Lakes is about 10 minutes from Snohomish and the benefits of civilization; when I used to live in Seattle I was about 2 minutes plus the search for a parking space from the restaurants and entertainment of lower Queen Anne. But Hidden Creeks is about 20 minutes from Snohomish or Lake Stevens and a little more to Monroe. Yes, they have the Storm Lake Store, but it's not much.
My commute to work from Three Lakes is about the same as it was from Seattle, but driving down River Road is a lot more relaxing than I-5. If I were at Hidden Creeks I'd add another 10 minutes minimum. That's me, of course. I used to do an hour minimum from Seattle to Frederickson.
But I digress. I didn't have my camera yesterday, but as soon as I get a chance to get back out there with it, I'll post some examples of why Rural Clusters should definitely include the F-word in their name.