Olympia reviews a proposal to subdivide, later add two houses to single-family property


On Wednesday, July 3, a local property owner asked Olympia's Site Plan Review Committee to review options for subdividing a .6-acre lot to add two single-family residences behind an existing house at 2024 Boulevard Road SE.

The property is about .6 acres or 26,250 square feet, according to consultant Kara Walk of Swalling Walk Architects, There is an existing house and shop on what would become Lot A. The proposal is to create new Lots B and C and eventually develop single-family residences on them.

City planner Casey Mauck said the subdivision proposal involves a multi-step application process.

  • First, the property owner would apply for the preliminary short plat.
  • Following this, if any engineering requirements are necessary, the owner would need to obtain the appropriate engineering permits and complete the required construction.
  • Once these steps are finished, the final stage involves applying for the final plat. It is only after the approval of this final plat that the land would be officially divided, allowing the subdivision to be legally recognized.

While the proposed lot sizes meet the minimum requirements, Mauck noted that lot A currently exceeds the permitted impervious surface area. To address the issue, she advised the property owner to reduce the developed surface area on lot A to meet the 40% cap.

Another issue concerns setbacks. Mauck referred to a city code that buildings within six feet of each other are considered attached and must meet the higher setback requirement.

"The accessory building looks like it is within six feet of the main house," Mauck noted. "It will have to meet the same setbacks as the main house. You would have to move the line between Lot A and B 10 feet to the east, at least where that accessory building is."

Mauck commented that for Lots B and C, the front setback should be to the south, facing the drive aisles. She said both lots should be redesigned as flat lots. These flag portions can be as narrow as two feet wide where they touch Boulevard Road. This configuration allows for the necessary easement and shared driveway while clearly establishing the south side as the front yard.

Mauck added that the property owner will need to provide a safe walking analysis for the project, with details of how students from these lots would walk to the nearest school or bus stop. The analysis should cover safe walking routes for all three levels of public schools if no bus stops are nearby.

According to Tiffani King, senior Engineering Plans examiner, the addition of two new homes does not trigger frontage improvements. However, she noted that sidewalk installation may still be required.

King emphasized that a single, shared driveway approach is preferred for the development, with a maximum width of 20 feet.

In addition, King provided information about right-of-way dedication requirements for the subdivision. She explained that even if sidewalks are not immediately installed, the property owner must dedicate approximately seven feet of right-of-way along the entire frontage of the parcel subject to the short plat.


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