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Council sets two additional meetings on DOD

Port Orchard City Council on Tuesday ended its last discussion on the Downtown Overlay District, scheduling two more meetings extending into June.

This week’s meeting was the second to focus primarily on height restrictions, but the council was not able to complete its work and determined that at least two more meetings would be needed.

The council returned with a compromise proposal based on another drafted by Rick Wyatt and one of the city’s lawyers, Greg Jacoby. This last week Councilwoman Rita DiIenno and Councilman Robert Putaansuu joined Wyatt and Jacoby to draft the height regulations.

Despite a cooperative group-effort, council continued to debate the issue extensively, eventually frustrating Wyatt, who has worked on three hard-copy drafts to date.

“It’s very frustrating,” Wyatt told the council. “We’ve had three separate documents in a hard copy. It seems like every time someone comes up with one, we’re tearing it apart.”

As usual, the council members debated how buildings can be built while still preserving the views of the bay for residents on the hill.

Wyatt argued that the regulations should stipulate that a new building not cover more than 30 percent of an individual’s view, while the current drafted proposal calls for “view corridors,” which would be preserved by only allowing a building to take up 75 percent of the lot’s footprint on the upper floors.

After discussing the actual height restrictions, the council debated a list of possible amenities buildings can offer.

Councilman Robert Geiger reiterated his sentiment that the amenities should remain separate from height restrictions. Currently, the council is considering requiring amenities for buildings taller than 27 feet on the north side of Bay Street and 39 feet on the south.

Geiger would prefer that all buildings give amenities, and said the requirement was akin to imposing a tax on buildings.

“You’re in a sense, assessing a tax,” Geiger said. “The developer should get the floors that the property is capable of supporting without imposing on the views.”

At the June 4 meeting, the council discussed requiring more amenities from buildings on the south side of Bay Street because they could build up to 55 feet.

This week, the council opted for a percentage calculation. Each building will offer an amenity valued at a yet-to-be-determined percentage of the buildings overall values.

Because the taller buildings on the south side would have a higher value than the those on the north, the council decided not to impose a higher percentage on them.

The council members were unable to discuss the complete list of possible amenities before the end of the meeting and will meet again at 7 p.m. on June 29 and July 6.

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