Two questions for the voters
The results of Monday’s City Council meeting were predictable; despite Mr. Katke’s best — and most appreciated — efforts, I think the Council’s actions were a foregone conclusion.
Another foregone conclusion: What are they chances there’ll be any active heron nests on the property this spring?
Two questions for the Gig Harbor voters who hired the current mayor and council: Does the Cheney plan comport with your vision of Gig Harbor as a historic maritime community with “small town” character, charm and values? If it doesn’t, why aren’t you screaming for change?
Tom Curran, Gig Harbor
What are we not changing from original code?
Dear citizens of Gig Harbor, I was on the Planning Commission when the zoning for the city waterfront area was reviewed and updated. When the zoning for this area was adopted, we went through a process of many months, involving extensive public input, both from those interested in development and those more concerned with quality of life and small city ambiance. We also solicited consultation with professional city planners and visited other small cities that seemed to have the qualities the public most wanted to incorporate. The zoning we have now was carefully considered by all parties, and it was the best compromise possible.
It distresses me to learn that by using development agreements, virtually everything the Planning Commission was concerned about regarding proper and consistent zoning can be thrown out with little or no public input.
On the city website, the property being considered for the One Harbor Point development is designated on different zoning maps as being in a “height restricted area,” a “historic district” and has the designation of being a “prominent parcel” in a “visually sensitive area.” By the city’s own standards this is an extremely important parcel of land.
The One Harbor Point project description on the city of Gig Harbor website states that by the gifting of the Boat Barn Parcel to the city as a public amenity, the applicant is proposing to utilize the development agreement to seek deviations from certain development standards set forth in the Gig Harbor Municipal Code.
A list of those deviations include:
▪ Allow the proposed triplex and fourplex use of the upland parcel zoned RB-1
▪ Decrease required building setbacks, increase allowable impervious coverage
▪ Increase density allowance
▪ Allow removal of all significant vegetation
▪ Decrease separation between structures
▪ Deviate from required architectural design standards
What are we not changing from the original code?
In short, this development agreement process sweeps away the years of diligent work done by concerned citizens to preserve the charm and quality of life that makes Gig Harbor special to us.
Robert Stuart, Gig Harbor
Apologies to the City Council
At a recent City Council meeting I was disappointed to witness some disrespectful behavior toward Council members and the mayor by a few of my fellow Gig Harbor residents. I was embarrassed for the community to see this happen as it’s not the Gig Harbor behavior I know. Individuals and organizations are expected to hold different perspectives, and it’s healthy to government processes to surface different perspectives — but let’s do so at the appropriate time and in a respectful manner.
To my community; I’m not sure how this dissension surfaced. Everyone present who wanted to testify was politely given an opportunity, even when input was off topic. To be more effective, I would encourage those providing input to the Council to first check the facts and then review and follow the Council agenda and the written procedures for public comment and decorum. The presence of a disrespectful mob isn’t effective in promoting good communications and understanding. I want Gig Harbor to be known as a friendly, working together, community. Let’s all try to do better.
To the mayor and City Council members; thank you for your many efforts to help Gig Harbor be a good place to work, play, raise a family and pridefully share with others. The time and thoughtful consideration you give to the issues facing our community is commendable. As one member of the Gig Harbor community, I apologize for the unpleasantness you experienced during your last meeting.
Chuck Meacham, Gig Harbor