Sarah Jane, left, a nurse who works at Jefferson County Public Health, hears a breakdown of the proposed affordable housing project from Suzanne Davis, the director of community outreach and project manager from Third Place Design Cooperative of Seattle. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Sarah Jane, left, a nurse who works at Jefferson County Public Health, hears a breakdown of the proposed affordable housing project from Suzanne Davis, the director of community outreach and project manager from Third Place Design Cooperative of Seattle. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Townsend housing project options displayed

Modern rooftop design leading choice

PORT TOWNSEND — Design firms have unveiled two options for a proposed affordable housing project in Port Townsend, and several features have been included based on community feedback.

Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP) is leading the effort to build a $16 million, 44-unit complex at the corner of Seventh and Hendricks streets, and organizers held their second of two open houses Tuesday, which about two dozen people attended.

Suzanne Davis, the director of community outreach for Third Place Design Cooperative, said her team was looking for more direction on whether to move forward with a modern shed-style roof or a more traditional steeple style.

The majority of the comments provided Tuesday and at June’s open house attended by about 50 people, were for the more modern look.

“OlyCAP has a series of things they need to do, but they were very interested in getting us involved with the community early on in the process so we could capture what they want in some of the key features,” Davis said. “That helps guide the track we will go on.”

The schematic designs showed a two-story structure with mixed uses, an early childhood education center on the ground floor along with opportunities for home office spaces, plus apartment homes with one, two and three bedrooms on the top floor.

Two other firms, Terrapin Architecture of Port Townsend and Ally Community Development of Seattle, also are working on the project.

Kathy Morgan, OlyCAP’s director of housing and community development, said the agency is facing a Sept. 18 deadline to apply for a state Housing Trust Fund grant. OlyCAP will seek $3 million, according to budget documents, and Morgan expects to hear a decision by December.

Additional funding sources are projected to be about $10.3 million in private investments through an IRS tax credit program, $2 million from a bank loan, $500,000 from Federal Home Loan Bank, $491,000 from the state Community Capital Facilities program through Early Learning, $164,000 from OlyCAP and $400,000 in local donations, contributions and grants, budget documents stated.

Jefferson County currently owns the land, but County Commissioner Greg Brotherton said a public process is scheduled this month to declare the land surplus and either sell or lease it to OlyCAP.

“Right now, we’re doing a lot of due diligence on our own,” Brotherton said. “So far, the public response has been overwhelmingly positive, but we still need to go through the public process to make the property available.”

Brotherton said affordable housing is an issue of high importance, and this project could bring “real change.”

The public got its first glimpse of the proposal in June, when attendees were asked to place stickers on poster boards that showed design concepts they preferred.

Those preferences took shape with schematics that favored a number of factors, including childcare entry and classrooms set back from the front of the street.

A majority also preferred the angled shed roof, a semi-private play area and a sidewalk with large planters.

On the exterior, design options favored saturated colors with large windows for natural daylight and sustainable siding materials.

“We have to be able to trust the fact that the community knows what they want to see,” Davis said. “We’re happy, proud and pleased to be part of this project.”

Brotherton added the location already is in a good position for long-term infrastructure. The site is next to the offices for the county public health department and the department of community development.

It’s also about a block away from Jefferson Healthcare hospital, with access to Jefferson Transit.

“It’s the highest and best use for the property right now,” Brotherton said.

OlyCAP Executive Director Dale Wilson said he has the same concerns others might have about the project, particularly its cost.

The agency has another piece of property they would have preferred to develop for this purpose, but the area isn’t zoned for it, he said.

Morgan said long-term goals and energy efficiency standards also have an impact.

“This has to be sustainable for 60 to 80 years,” she said.

Both have been open to public feedback, and Wilson said he would talk with anyone individually about their concerns.

“This is very modern, and it fits into the area right there,” Morgan said.

________

Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at bmclean@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Two vehicles totaled, two transported to hospital

Two individuals were transported to the hospital after a two-car… Continue reading

A large brush fire that charred a vacant lot near 13th and K streets on the west side of Port Angeles on Monday underscores the current level of fire danger. (KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS)
Clallam County Fire Marshal upgrades burn ban

The Clallam County Fire Marshal has upgraded fire restrictions… Continue reading

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
A canoe from Ahousaht First nations of western Vancouver Island is hauled ashore by volunteers on Tuesday on Lower Elwha Clalllam land near the mouth of the Elwha River west of Port Angeles.
Power Paddlers bound for Puyallup

A canoe from Ahousaht First Nations of western Vancouver Island is hauled… Continue reading

Two banned from Port Angeles senior center

Outside food policy at center of controversy

Indigent defense caseloads may decrease

Local stakeholders express opposed perspectives on potential implications

Mike Chapman
State senate candidates debate policy differences

Chapman, Kelbon vie for 24th District

Marine sanctuary plans birthday festivities

The Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is inviting the… Continue reading

Construction night crews plan work on Highways 19 and 104

Work crews will be completing the construction of the… Continue reading

Public comment being sought on Project Macoma

The state Department of Ecology is collecting public comments… Continue reading

Jefferson County increases fire danger from ‘high’ to ‘very high’

Fire marshal cites months of drought conditions, increased risk of lightning

Animal board to help with dogs

Clallam County seeking solutions to Bark House closure

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Chairwoman Francis Charles leads tribal members in a ceremony across the length of the new Elwha River bridge, which opened Sunday afternoon. The tribal members dedicated the surface with cedar bows as members of the bridge crew watched from left. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula Daily News)
Sweeping ceremony

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Chairwoman Francis Charles leads tribal members in a… Continue reading