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Hearing set on Myhre's exterior design

Myhre's Restaurant and Lounge has finished the rebuild of its roof and now waterfront apartments are expected as part of the larger rebuilding effort of the Bay Street icon.

Under guidelines in the Port Orchard Shoreline Master Program, the owners of the restaurant were required to obtain a shoreline conditional use permit since they are now building a series of potential multi-family residences on the second floor of the building within 200 feet of the city's shoreline jurisdiction. According to program stipulations, any building that receives a shoreline conditional use permit must also obtain a shoreline substantial development permit.

"The owners could have received a shoreline exemption had it not been for the multifamily residences on the second floor," said Port Orchard Associate Planner Tom Bonsell, adding that Myhre's could have rebuilt without conditions had they simply sought to replace what was lost in the fire.

"Multi-family residences require a shoreline conditional use permit and any property that requires a shoreline conditional use permit automatically requires a shoreline substantial development permit," he said.

Another part of the restaurant's permitting processes falls within the city's downtown overlay district. Myhre's location within this district requires that all exterior designs for the building go through the city's design review board.

"They require the plans, the color, the wall treatment, the brick, the hard siding, the cinderblock," Bonsell said. "The design review board makes those recommendations to staff and staff takes those recommendations to the city council."

The Port Orchard City Council will have a public hearing from the design review board on the design specifications for the brick, siding and exterior color of the building on Sept. 25.

The Port Orchard City Council decided on a vision in 2007 of how all building structures within the downtown overlay district should look and decided on an early 1900s look so that the exterior design of Myhre's must conform to this look and fit with that vision, Bonsell said.

"They envisioned a certain look for downtown that used turn of the century brick and single-hung windows," he said. "It was to look like the early 1900s, the shipyards, the workers, the bars, the sailors, the brothels and the old Model T's."

With the completion of the new roof, the restaurant and lounge building, which burned down last summer, has now met code requirements. The restaurant's owner, John Lora, said that he is waiting to hear back from Travelers Insurance, the company funding the reconstruction effort before he can order his workers to continue going forward with the rebuilding project, which includes the new apartments.

“Apartment A has a Main Street balcony view,” said Chris Hoover, a carpenter apprentice who was on the building site last week. “They'll really have a good view of the parade. Myhre's is just a crown of this town."

Fourteen months ago, Myhre's burned down in a three-alarm fire that incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars damage to the building and disappointed local Port Orchard residents who love the restaurant and eagerly look forward to its reopening.

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