PO Plan: Is the End Really in Sight?

Update June 26: I made an error in this story, omitting the 55-foot height allowance for lots abutting the south side of Bay Street. The correct information is below, and I reposted the whole story, corrected, in a new entry, so hopefully it is more visible.

“The maximum height in the city’s downtown core, the “downtown overlay district,” is 39 feet for lots on the north side of Bay Street and on the south side of Prospect Street. The maximum height for lots that abut the south side of Bay Street is 55 feet.”

I spoke with Mayor Kim Abel today. The City Council has set yet another two meetings on its long-awaited downtown plan but, according to Abel, the end is (“potentially”) in sight (“if all things move forward”). Mark your calendars for July 23 to see if Abel’s hopeful prediction comes to fruition.
An update on the council’s progress is below.


Port Orchard
Council Sets More Meetings on Downtown Plan
The Port Orchard City Council continues to discuss its downtown plan, and two additional meetings have been scheduled for 7 p.m. June 29 and July 6 at City Hall. The public is welcome, but public testimony has closed and no comments from the audience will be taken.
At its June 18 meeting, the council discussed a proposal regarding building heights that originated with Councilman Rick Wyatt. Prior to the meeting, Wyatt and council members Rob Putaansuu and Rita DiIenno worked with City Attorney Greg Jacoby to incorporate suggestions from the council from an earlier meeting into the proposal.
According to Mayor Kim Abel, the council came to a consensus on building heights. Buildings on the north (water) side of Bay Street that are over 27 feet will require a conditional use permit. Buildings over 27 feet on the south side of Bay Street which abut Bay Street will need a conditional use permit and developers will be required to provide view corridors according to guidelines yet to be established, Abel said.
Also yet to be finalized is the issue of amenities, which would be required on any building over 27 feet. The maximum building height in the Downtown Overlay District, the city’s commercial core, would be 39 feet.
Still on the council’s to-do list is to complete discussion of a menu of amenities developers could choose from to meet ordinance requirements. The proposal under discussion is to require amenities valued at a minimum of one percent of the building’s assessed value. Amenities would be required to be on site, Abel said. Other issues the council will discuss are parking and a proposed design review committee.
Once the council comes to a consensus of all ordinances of the plan they will vote on its adoption.
“Potentially we could vote on it our last meeting in July (July 23), if all things move forward,” Abel said.

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