Gateway

McCormick Creek residents worried a road would endanger children. City Council eases their fears

Gig Harbor City Council stands with Gig Harbor High School's Golf Team, who became state champions on May 23.
Gig Harbor City Council stands with Gig Harbor High School's Golf Team, who became state champions on May 23. Courtesy

Residents of the McCormick Creek neighborhood felt their voices were heard on Monday after the Gig Harbor City Council passed a resolution that will stop a road from being built to connect the neighborhood to Harbor Hill Drive.

Resolution No. 1120 was an amendment to a development agreement with the Harbor Hill Complex developer, Harbor Hill LLC, which was first drafted in 2010. On Monday, the City Council discussed amending the resolution so it would not be required to construct a road where the proposed sports complex would be built.

“There are at least 20 little kids playing, having this road would be bad,” Tracy Markley, a McCormick Creek resident said. “The 90 or so houses there do not want this road to go through. I came to speak for our neighborhood.”

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Markley said the neighbors met regarding the issue and came to the conclusion that if the road as to be built, despite the future construction of the sports complex, they would prefer it dead-ended in a parking lot for the complex or was fitted with speed bumps.

Councilwoman Jeni Woock moved to approve the resolution, stating it was a safety concern for the residents and herself. Councilman Ken Malich also discussed possibly bringing the idea of placing speed bumps on current roads to the table in the near future. The resolution passed unanimously, with happy cheers from the small crowd of McCormick Creek residents.

DOES THE CITY HAVE TIME TO BAN PLASTIC STRAWS?

During council comments, Councilwoman Woock said she is concerned with the state of pollution and use of plastic in the city and requested the city initiate work on an ordinance that would ban plastic straws, initiate a reusable-bag policy and replacement policy for single-use plastic in Gig Harbor. Woock requested the ordinance be ready by the first council meeting in October and requested a council work session be schedule for September 12.

“This is of great environmental importance,” Woock said.

Kuhn said he did not believe the council or city staff had time to add another item to their plates although he supported the idea of a ban. City staff commended Woock on previous research she has done into similar bans in nearby cities, citing Tacoma and Seattle, but said research and planning on how to enforce the ban, when to schedule a public meeting and the time frame to implement the plan would take more time and effort from city staff.

Every member of the council was in favor of the idea, despite the schedule constraints, except for Councilman Michael Perrow, who said the ban sounded like a “one-off enforcement” issue.

The idea of a ban on single-use plastic will be brought to the Finance and Safety Committee and will possibly be brought to the council in the form of an ordinance this fall.

OTHER BUSINESS

The council heard the first reading of an ordinance regarding the 2018 Public Works Standards update, which included a change requiring residential developments to place parallel parking on one side of public and private roads. No vote was taken on the ordinance, which will be brought back for a second reading. No public comment is taken on the updates.

The council voted 6-1 to change the budget planning time line from a two year budget to a one year budget. Councilman Jim Franich voted against the change and said his only reason was because he did not agree with voting on an ordinance during its first reading, although he supported the change. Now city staff and council will create an annual city budget, and is currently creating the 2019-2020 budget.

Danielle Chastaine: 253-358-4155, @gateway_danie
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