The Monday night Gig Harbor City Council meeting was all about waterfront Millville once again.
A potential code amendment to add more dining options in a section of waterfront Millville along Harborview Drive has dominated city discussion since it first appeared at the planning commission in late 2014.
Most recently, council member Paul Kadzik proposed a second boundary option — known as the red line — that would limit the zoning overlay for restaurants. It would run from Pleasurecraft Marina to the north side of the Bayview building, the current home of Ship to Shore.
The original proposal — known as the yellow line — spans from Pleasurecraft Marina to the north side of the Ross building, which houses Suzanne’s Bakery and Deli.
On Monday, the council deliberated on both lines after a lengthy public hearing. City staff had requested council chose one of the lines, after which an ordinance would be drafted and brought to council for approval or denial.
Discussion appeared to favor the red line, with four out of seven council members stating support for the reduced option.
“When it goes beyond (the Bayview building), I have concerns about all of the concerns that people have brought to us,” Kadzik said. “I think this is another one of those cases where a small step can get us some improvement … and I think that we have very, very little to lose by taking that step.”
Council member Steve Ekberg agreed, saying that it is far easier for the council to expand on a small area in the future as opposed to reducing a large area.
During council comment, Ekberg, Kadzik, council member Ken Malich and council member Rahna Lovrovich stated support for the smaller red line.
Council members Tim Payne, Michael Perrow and Casey Arbenz had concerns about the reduced area and stated support for the yellow line to be included.
The main concern cited by Payne and Perrow was potential favoritism shown toward the applicant, Gig Harbor Marina, Inc., which proposes moving popular restaurant Brix 25 to the Bayview building.
During the course of conversation, Payne raised concerns about the suggested opening time of 6 a.m., saying he preferred 7 a.m. as Gig Harbor residents tend to be early risers rather than those that stay out into the wee hours.
For a public hearing on both lines and the other provisos in the waterfront Millville ordinance, 24 people stepped up to the podium to speak. Opinion was split right down the middle, with 11 people speaking in opposition and 13 people speaking in support.
A majority of those that testified in favor of the amendment were associated with the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Waterfront Alliance. Several board members of the alliance testified. So far, the Chamber and the alliance had not been vocal in support at the public hearings.
Those that showed up in opposition were mainly Millville residents, many of whom have made their concerns known to the council previously.
Concerns cited by residents include noise, parking, traffic and trespassing by restaurant patrons.