Tumwater council sends its version of a development agreement to Port of Olympia


In a 5-2 vote, the Tumwater City Council approved its “Mayor’s Version” of a development agreement for the Port of Olympia's New Market Industrial Campus.

During the city council meeting on Tue., Dec. 7, Tumwater Mayor Pete Kmet recommended the approval of the agreement, which contains terms to which the Port has objected. The document proposes guidelines for Panattoni, the California-based real-estate developer in leasing 200-acres of Port property located in the city..

The agreement includes vesting rights, trail construction for 50 percent of the development, removal of the bark waste before construction, and clarifications in terms of timeframe for the Community Center and closure of Kimmie Street.

The decision came a week after Port of Olympia Executive Director Sam Gibboney announced that they would no longer push through with the negotiations. City Manager John Doan also clarified that even without the Development Agreement, the Port can still continue to lease its property to Panattoni.

In a statement, Councilmember Michael Althauser stated that “we’ve been ignored in this process.” Althauser believed that by sending the agreement, the city sets the minimum standards that they would like to see with the development. Councilmember Leatta Dahlhoff added, “I want to find a solution to the community. I understand the frustration, but this is why we are here.”

Other council members have shared their opposition. “It just appears to me that we’re rushing this,” Councilmember Charlie Schneider said.

“I don’t know why we keep doing it,” Councilmember Joan Cathey said. She stated that while she was not against the development, “In my opinion, there needs to be some kind of message sent to the Port, instead of going back to the same things with a tweak here.”

Those who have voted in favor of the proposal include Councilmembers Angela Jefferson, Michael Althauser, Leatta Dahlhoff, Eileen Swarthout, and Debbie Sullivan. Those who opposed were Councilmembers Joan Cathey and Charlie Schneider.


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