Dana Zimmerman 400

Save Rural Gig Harbor: No Luxury Resorts on Olson Drive

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Dana Zimmerman 400 Comments
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We, the undersigned, oppose the high-density housing proposal by Kensington Gardens to build a complex of multifamily housing including 5-6 30,000 sqare foot luxury apartments. This development would house over 100 residents between Harbor Heights Elementary School and Wollochet Bay.

The proposal will explode population density in a quiet rural community. Currently there are only 50 single-family homes within a third of a mile of the proposed development. The developer's plan for 60 dwelling units will more than double the housing density of this area.

The proposal will erode the rural character of the neighborhood. Each of the proposed “luxury villas” will have 20,000 sqft of living space plus 9,000 sqft of garage space. These massive mansions, with themes based on European palaces, are entirely out of place in a community made up of modest single family homes (median size of 2,000 sqft) on large parcels.

The proposal conflicts with the Pierce County and Gig Harbor Community Plans, which say that residential areas “should provide for low residential densities with appropriate public improvements and services to provide for a rural lifestyle and protect rural character.” Rural land uses must be “consistent with the rural lifestyle and within the carrying capacity of the natural environment.” In addition, the development falls outside of the Urban Growth Area — the 2800 acres of unincorporated land targeted by the City of Gig Harbor’s Comprehensive Plan for future development.

The proposed development will put stress on traffic and infrastructure. Olson Drive is wooded with no traffic striping on the road, no street lights, no water or sewer service. The fire district has written a letter opposing the project, saying the area is not served for the density this development would require.

The proposal will jeopardize public safety. Olson Drive is favored by walkers and nature lovers from across the community. With two schools just around the corner, it is also frequented by families walking to and from school. Increased traffic on this narrow rural road will put their safety at risk.

The proposal will destroy animal habitat. The forested property, which includes a creek and wetlands, is home to a rich variety of wildlife. Bears, coyotes, hawks and other animals are often spotted on the property by neighbors.

  • We oppose granting a conditional use permit to subdivide the Kensington Gardens parcel into 5 lots for a complex of luxury apartments and accessory duplexes.
  • We oppose conversion of a Single-Family Residence permit to a Group Home permit to allow for high-density development on Olson Drive.

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A note to petitioners: please consider posting a short comment along with your signature. It would be good to mention your connection to the Gig Harbor area and why you oppose the development. Please also consider reposting on your Facebook page.

We'd also love for you to join us at the Gig Harbor Peninsula Land Use Advisory Committee meeting, which will take via Zoom (see details below). The committee will discuss and provide their recommendation next week on this proposed plat and group home development.

Gig Harbor Peninsula Advisory Commission Regular Meeting

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 6:30 PM

Finally, if you’d like to submit your comments in a letter to the county staff planner in charge, Andrew Van Gordon, his email is: andrew.vangordon@piercecountywa.gov.

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