A neighborhood appeal of a large senior housing project in Lacey is set to be heard next week after a hearings examiner denied a developer’s motion to dismiss certain aspects of the appeal.
“The applicant’s motion to dismiss certain issues is denied,” Hearings Examiner Theodore Paul Hunter wrote in his ruling.
The applicant is AVS Communities, a major player in senior and family housing in Washington. The group has proposed a 300-unit senior housing project, including 9,000 square feet of commercial space, for the vacant Albertsons store site at Pacific Avenue and Carpenter Road.
The Reserve at Lacey would measure about 286,000 square feet across five floors. That’s more square footage than the outdoors store Cabela’s or the Walmart on Galaxy Drive.
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The city of Lacey says the project is a good example of urban infill development, while the developer’s legal representative has said it’s a good match for the area, given that the Virgil S. Clarkson senior center is nearby.
However, neighbor Joe Panesko and the other appellants say the project is incompatible with the area, which includes the city’s historic neighborhood along Bowker, Ulery and Lacey streets.
Panesko and others appealed a site plan review committee decision and a mitigated determination of nonsignificance, finding fault with a number of the city’s conclusions about the project.
The developer took issue with the range of complaints in the appeal and filed a motion to dismiss some of them, saying they “should be dismissed because the claims are vague and not sufficiently specific to sustain an appeal.”
Hearings Examiner Hunter felt otherwise, writing:
“While the city and applicant argue that the appeal raises claims that are not sufficiently specific, the Hearings Examiner finds that the appellants’ pre-hearing brief provides specific exceptions and objections to the city’s decisions.”
The hearing is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday in Lacey City Hall’s council chambers, 420 College St SE.