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Overlay District foe kills petition

An earlier petition against the Downtown Overlay District has been withdrawn, leaving the document regulating developments in Port Orchard’s core uncontested.

Marge Gissberg and Paulie Williams filed the petition with the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board in November and were scheduled for a pre-hearing with the board and the city last week.

But on Dec. 17, Gissberg sent an e-mail to the board and city withdrawing her petition, explaining her decision was “not because I feel the city will win or is in the right, but simply because I do not have the time to take away from work to pursue the unending stupidity of the city of Port Orchard’s city council and its mayor.”

Gissberg said Thursday that none of the other downtown residents stepped up to help with the complaint after she alerted the Downtown Neighborhood Association, an organization made up of residents lining Bay Street.

“No one did a single thing,” Gissberg explained in another e-mail. “I simply felt that I did not feel like fighting for those who had fits but didn’t give a damn to do anything.”

Gissberg and Williams have been long-time opponents of the Downtown Overlay District, as their house sits on Prospect Alley, directly behind properties that could be redeveloped and block their view, but most of there concern stems from the ground that sits below their house and in the hill behind Bay Street.

In the original petition, Gissberg and Williams asserted that the Downtown Overlay District allows developments that could damage the integrity of the hill, which they said is unstable, and does not include environmental considerations for run-off into the Sinclair Inlet.

Hearing board staff attorney Julie Taylor said that the board does not follow up on cases when the original complainants withdraw their petition. Once Gissberg sent the e-mail, the case was closed.

Gissberg, however, said she is still angry about the Downtown Overlay District, and the fact that her building is not included within its boundaries, and plans to vacate the area.

“I intend to walk away from the property one way or another,” Gissberg said.

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