After five months of deliberation, a code amendment that would allow other restaurant types in a portion of waterfront Millville was approved by the Gig Harbor City Council on Monday night.
The amendment didn’t look exactly like the proposal applicant John Moist submitted on behalf of Gig Harbor Marina, Inc.
As the proposal moved from the planning commission to the city council, it was tweaked and refined. It was at one point voted down by the planning commission and then returned for revote. Along the way it polarized opinion and drew particular ire from Millville neighbors.
By the end, the code amendment covered an area that stretched from Pleasurecraft Marina through Susanne’s Bakery and Deli. In that area, the city will now allow restaurant types 2 and 3, which permit the sale of spirits among other allowances.
The council added some conditions to the Millville restaurants. Operating hours must be between 7 a.m. and a last seating of 9:30 p.m.; the bar area may occupy no more than 40 percent of the total square footage of the restaurant; and deep-fat fryers are not allowed.
Restaurant permits will need a conditional use permit, granted through the city’s Hearing Examiner. To explain his vote, council member Paul Kadzik said he believed the permitting process would protect neighbors.
The Hearing Examiner will be “able to address the neighbors and their concerns.” he said. “It’s not easy to get a conditional use permit.”
Before the Millville discussion began, Fred Douglas was sworn in as police department lieutenant.
Kadzik was the only council member to explain why he voted for the amendment, but council members Ken Malich and Rahna Lovrovich explained why they dissented in the vote.
Lovrovich said she felt there could be alternatives for Millville. She worries that the incoming restaurants could put some of the historic aspects at risk.
Malich thanked the citizens who gave countless testimonies for their time.
“I think your testimony changed the way the council looked at this situation,” he said.
The concerns voiced pushed the council to put restrictions on the amendment, Malich added.
Lt. Douglas was promoted from sergeant. When Mike Davis retired as chief last summer, current Chief Kelly Busey was promoted from the rank of lieutenant.
“This is the last in the domino effect of promotions,” Busey told the council.
The way Douglas earned the respect of the fellow officers as he came up in the department made him the ideal candidate for lieutenant, Busey said.
The council will next meet at 5:30 p.m. May 26 at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview Street.