Elizabeth St. housing to include two roads to 18th Ave.


Olympia’s Site Plan Review committee yesterday heard an updated plan for the 57-unit Elizabeth Street multifamily housing project at 1627 Elizabeth St. SE.

According to project engineer Chris Cramer, of Patrick Harron and Associates, they updated their 2018 plan by putting two access roads to 18th Avenue.

Initially, the plan was to get the road laid out in the north from Elizabeth St., Cramer said. "When we looked at this project, we didn't adjust that road at all. We want to leave that as it is and rework the site's southern portion."

The proposed project includes constructing seven buildings with 23 two-bedroom townhomes, 24 one-bedroom apartments, and 12 studio apartments on a 105,436-sq. ft. parcel lot.

Lydia Moorehead, Community Planning and Development associate planner, said the project has yet to meet the zoning code and design standards that require a 20% open space.

"Private yards and common open space can be devoted to native vegetation, landscaping and/or outdoor recreation facilities. It cannot include driveways, loading or maneuvering areas or parking lots. But it can include porches, balconies, walkways, tennis courts, pools, that kind of thing," she said.

Moorehead noted standing water on the site. "That could be a wetland indicator if standing water persists into the growing season."

She suggested getting a wetland survey to rule that out.

In terms of parking, Moorehead informed the developer that 82 stalls are allowed in the project. If they wish to add above 10% of the parking requirement, they would need to apply for an administrative modification. If they go 20% to 40% above the allocation, they must submit a parking study prepared by a transportation engineer.

Erik Jensen, Olympia building official, told the developers there might have changes next year in terms of building requirements.

Jensen explained the State Building Code Council will implement the 2021 code by July 2023. Currently, the city is operating under the 2018 building code.

"I anticipate it will affect your EV (electric vehicle) charging and solar requirements," Jensen said, adding the new code has not been published yet.


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