Planning Consultant Undaunted by Spruce House Denial

The Kitsap County Hearing Examiner has denied a conditional use permit application for Spruce House, a proposed three-story development in Manchester. Planning consultant William Palmer says his client, John Park of BJP LLC, Gig Harbor, will likely appeal the decision.
Some of the town’s residents were unhappy with the scale of the building, plans for which received preliminary approval before the 2007 Manchester Plan limited building heights to two stories. But Hearing Examiner Kimberly A. Allen, in her ruling Nov. 11, said the project meets requirements of the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan and Kitsap County Code in effect at the time Park first applied.
Allen rejected the application on the basis of stormwater plans deemed inadequate by county staff, who testified at a public hearing Oct. 22.
Another problem stems from an easement dispute between Park and the owner of a neighboring property. The neighbor’s property encroaches on the Spruce House site, and the two parties are involved in a suit and countersuit.
Since the project is in legal limbo, Allen wrote, her hands are tied for ruling in favor of Park’s application.

Palmer, who typically withholds his opinion on land use rulings, weighed in on Manchester’s potential for development vis a vis the resistance of some residents to the size and scope of Spruce House and three other retail-residential projects grandfathered in at three stories.
“I still think Manchester is the place for the kind of development proposal that is represented in Colchester Commons, Spruce House and Frank Tweten’s Project,” said Palmer, adding The Anchors at Manchester to his thoughts. “ All four, if allowed to go forward, would make Manchester a really special place to be.
“Obviously there are some who like the run-down nature of the buildings in the area and would like to see it stay that way.”

Here’s a link to a story on the one three-story project that has been built in Manchester.

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