Gateway: News

One Harbor Point pulls out of development agreement

The One Harbor Point development agreement would have allowed for the construction of 35 dwelling units in 10 townhouse-style structures on the upland triangular side of the Haub property and three single family dwellings on the Gig Harbor waterfront.
The One Harbor Point development agreement would have allowed for the construction of 35 dwelling units in 10 townhouse-style structures on the upland triangular side of the Haub property and three single family dwellings on the Gig Harbor waterfront. jbessex@gateline.com

Officials with One Harbor Point, the development proposed by the Ben B. Cheney Foundation on the Haub triangle property at Harborview and Soundview drives in Gig Harbor, announced Tuesday they are withdrawing the development agreement for the project.

“It is with disappointment that the Ben B. Cheney Foundation has withdrawn the One Harbor Point Development Agreement proposal from the City of Gig Harbor,” Brad Cheney wrote in a statement to The Peninsula Gateway.

“The proposal was meant to share our vision for the project. It was our hope to create a residential neighborhood that would help revitalize the downtown core. The Boat Barn was intended as a gift to the community that could be used as a permanent waterfront site for a farmer’s market or the arts, fuel dock or other purpose as determined by the citizens of Gig Harbor.

“Our vision was shaped by almost two years of meetings with community groups and individuals. It’s unfortunate that we could not take it to the next step.”

Our vision was shaped by almost two years of meetings with community groups and individuals. It’s unfortunate that we could not take it to the next step.

Brad Cheney

The development agreement called for construction of 35 dwelling units in 10 townhouse-style structures on the upland triangular side of the property and three single-family dwellings on the waterfront.

The second waterfront site, containing the Boat Barn and associated marina, would be conveyed as a gift to the city for public use.

Concerns for the development included the increase in density, the loss of trees and vegetation along Soundview Drive, problems caused by added traffic and impacts to views.

The City Council approved moving forward with the development agreement June 26 after a long and contentious public hearing.

Council members Casey Arbenz, Michael Perrow and Paul Kadzik voted to continue the discussion and review of the agreement. Council members Steve Ekberg, Ken Malich and Rahna Lovrovich voted no.

With Councilman Tim Payne absent, Mayor Jill Guernsey cast the tie-breaking vote to move the agreement forward.

Malich’s initial motion to cease processing the development agreement failed by a 4-3 vote, with Guernsey breaking the tie.

More than 120 people overflowed the council chambers to hear about the development agreement and give their views during the public comment portion of the hearing.

Thirty-six people spoke against the project and eight spoke in support.

Attorney John Barline, who represented the Haub family at the June 26 meeting, said the family enthusiastically supported the project and always planned to develop the property as an investment.

“We anticipated that we would receive constructive comments on the proposal from the Council’s Design and Review Board and the community meeting held last May, and from there work with the city on mutually agreeable changes for a successful neighborhood,” Cheney said.

“It now appears unlikely we would have an opportunity to craft a development that works for all parties.”

Although the statement doesn’t say exactly why the foundation is pulling out of the agreement, several candidates who were elected to the City Council and will be sworn in come January expressed their displeasure for the project during their respective campaigns.

It was unlikely that the project would have been approved before January’s transition.

The statement did not detail what the Haub family plans to do with the land now that One Harbor Point will not move forward.

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