ENUMCLAW, Washington (STPNS) -- By Kevin Hanson

The Courier-Herald

A Thursday meeting at Black Diamond City Hall will focus on the single biggest issue shaping the future of the small community ? namely, growth.

With the Yarrow Bay development group poised to transform the once sleepy town, elected and appointed leaders are working to iron out all the details that, they hope, will allow the town to expand without losing its ambiance.

Thursday?s public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. as part of the regular meeting of the City Council.

City Administrator Gwendolyn Voelpel said growth is on hold while city staff prepares for the inevitable.

Specifically, the issue on the table Thursday is an extension of an existing moratorium on large developments. Such moratoriums can only be of six months? duration.

Voelpel said city employees need more time to get ready for the anticipated building boom.

?The staff recommendation will be to give us a little more time to finish our work,? she said, noting that staff has been addressing the city?s comprehensive plan, public works standards and design guidelines. The last time the city tackled a complete overhaul of its comprehensive plan was 1996, she said.

The city is being cautious, Voelpel said, because it?s important that growth not entirely re-define the community.

?We?re hoping to hang on to the vision others have set,? she said.

That might be tricky, since Yarrow Bay is looking at eventually adding thousands of homes to the city?s housing inventory. The estate giant has purchased property it intends to turn into two large subdivisions ? Lawson Hills on the east side of town and The Villages west of state Route 169.