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Concerns about parking, traffic at forefront of Purdy restaurant proposal

A potential restaurant in Purdy had its first hearing in Gig Harbor on June 10.

The Gig Harbor Peninsula Advisory Commission voted 3-2 to continue the project with one condition: Should a deck be built, it must be ADA accessible.

But the project is already being saddled with the typical bugaboo of development on the peninsula: traffic, traffic, traffic.

The combination office and restaurant space would sit adjacent to Massimo Italian Grill on the waterfront overlooking the Purdy spit.

It is proposed by Kent Kingman of Minterbrook Oyster Farms. Architect David Boe presented the idea to the commission during the hearing.

The proposed project is more akin to a complex than a restaurant. Kingman’s vision is to include an oyster bar, fish shop, seafood restaurant and an espresso bar on the lower level. The second floor would be filled by leased office space. The proposed name is Laguna’s By the Bay.

“The concept that we’re looking for ... is it’s more of a community place to come,” Kingman said. “That’s the feel, more than a restaurant.”

In public testimony, Purdy residents aired concerns about traffic and parking issues on the small plot. The restaurant would sit along the spur, and the only legal turn-in would be heading east.

“You can’t get in here (and) you can’t get out,” testified John McDonnell, referring to the right-of-way and traffic on the spur.

The advisory commission does just that — advise. The final decision on the conditional use permit falls to the Pierce County Hearing Examiner.

Commission Vice Chair Gordon Ballantyne was the site reviewer in advance of the meeting. He also brought up the issues of the Purdy spur traffic, but said the project could brighten up the area.

“I think it’s a terrible intersection, and we all know it’s a terrible intersection,” he said. “As far as the aesthetic, I think it’s a vast improvement.”

At this point, the application is only an application and no traffic studies have been submitted.

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