On Wednesday, September 13, the Olympia Site Plan Review Committee held a presubmission conference on a proposal to construct two triplexes on the 1.60-acre Taylor Short Plat subdivision along Cooper Point Road NW.
The applicant for the project, Jeff Pantier, said the westerly portion of the property is part of a wetland system. They plan to hire a biologist to determine how it might affect these building sites.
The development faces environmental challenges as Olympia Associate Planner Jackson Ewing enumerated the hurdles that must be addressed.
Ewing noted the presence of a wetland area to the south of the project site and a possible tributary of Green Cove Creek, with likely a channel in the area. "That means that must be evaluated through a wetland and stream delineation report."
Citing the critical area mapping, Ewing said the project falls within the jurisdiction of shoreline regulations as the site is located near Green Cove Creek. The project would require a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit to be reviewed along with the short plat.
The associate planner suggested that a biologist thoroughly examine the interrelationship between the wetland and the stream, focusing on what exact buffers would apply.
In addition, Ewing said density calculations will come into play in building a subdivision. He explained that density calculations are based on the total site area, subtracting critical area and their corresponding buffers. That means the density calculation would be based on the net area outside those critical area buffers.
Ewing noted that the property is part of an older subdivision, presenting the option of boundary line adjustment (BLA) to allow for development outside the subdivision process. He said the critical area and shoreline requirements would still come into play to ensure developers are not creating unbuildable lots.
"After you get through the critical area review process to figure out what exactly is left, looking at a boundary line adjustment may be an option that would not require the short plat," Ewing told the applicant.
Olympia's Community Planning and Development Deputy Director, Tim Smith, clarified that the committee is reviewing the information provided for the presubmission conference. However, he offered that they could discuss the BLA deeply if the applicant is interested.
The application’s narrative stated that access to the site is from Cooper Point Road NW. The southerly access will be aligned with the existing Sarah Court NW. The northern access is adjacent to an existing access serving a small townhome project.
Pantier added that they propose formally vacating the unopened streets that border the property.
Tiffani King, the senior engineering plans examiner, informed the applicant that Cooper Point is an arterial and the code limits the number of access points onto an arterial.
King said planning access in the middle of the site seems convenient, allowing for both north and south exits. However, this approach could create spacing issues between access points.
King commented that the access point across from Sarah Court is the best configuration because it allows alignment to the access south of the property and may comply with the regulations regarding access points on arterial roads.
As for solid waste collection, King explained that solid waste collection could be challenging. She said solid waste trucks currently service the parcel by stopping on Cooper Point Road, reversing down the adjacent land for waste collection, and repeating the process further down the road. "That is not safe, and it is not efficient."
The Solid Waste committee wanted to have a scoping meeting with the applicant.
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