Big Port Angeles housing development approved

PORT ANGELES — A Bellevue-based developer has received city approval to develop 42 lots on the south end of town, the first phase of a 139-lot planned development of both single-family and multi-family structures.

Construction of 24 single-family and 18 multi-family homes is part of Sharron and Associates’ first phase of developing 34.5 acres of land at Ahlvers Road and Laurel Street.

The City Council unanimously approved the first phase on Tuesday.

Nathan West, city economic and community development director, said the approval allows the developer to apply for building permits for the 42 lots.

Sharron and Associates plans to develop a total of 139 lots on the property by 2011, Steve Zenovic, the developer’s consultant, told the City Council.

The development, expected to be completed in three phases, would have 10.5 acres of open space, including 5.9 acres of park area.

The City Council gave preliminary approval to the entire development in February 2006, which allowed the developer to build some roads and conduct wetland mitigation.

Saving grace

Sue Roberds, city planning manager, said Sharron and Associates is hoping that the multi-family structures, which are in short supply in the city, will be its saving grace for selling these lots in a poor economy.

The development “provides an opportunity for someone to own part or whole” of a multi-family building, she said.

Asked if the developer expects to sell the single-family homes, Roberds said: “They are hoping to sell every one in this first phase.”

The development “provides a variety of housing types that might not be available in the city,” she said.

West said the first phase of development involves three street improvement projects to offset increased traffic.

Sharron and Associates will contribute $105,000 to street improvements.

The three projects are:

• Installing a traffic signal or round-about at Laurel Street and Lauridsen Boulevard.

The developer will pay about $33,000, or 21 percent of that cost.

• Curb, sidewalk, gutter and drainage improvements on the east half of Laurel Street from Ahlvers Road to Viewcrest Avenue.

The developer will pay about $46,000, or half of this cost.

• Sidewalk and drainage improvements on Laurel Street from Viewcrest Avenue to Park Avenue.

The developer will pay about $26,000, or half of this cost.

The city will cover the rest of the cost for those street improvement projects.

Wetlands

Roberds said that the development, which sits near Valley Creek, includes extensive wetland mitigation.

“It’s beautiful,” she said. “They’ve done a really nice job.”

Wetland mitigation involves replacing or expanding wetlands affected by development.

Roberds said that some of that mitigation involved expanding on-site wetlands, which includes planting additional trees and vegetation.

This was required by the Army Corps of Engineers because some of the site development work encroached upon a wetland.

Roberds attributed that to a miscommunication between Sharron and Associates and its contractor.

The on-site wetlands cover 3.3 acres of land on the property.

The additional wetland mitigation reduced the original plan of 147 units to 139.

West said the development provides a good balance of housing clustering and wetland space.

“It’s an efficient use of urban resources,” he said.

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Reporter Tom Callis can be reached at 360-417-3532 or at tom.callis@peninsuladailynews.com.

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