Discussion on Downtown Overlay District continues

The Port Orchard City Council met once again on Tuesday night to discuss the Downtown Overlay District — and once again scheduled further meetings, pushing the discussion into June.

During its study session, the council tackled design standards. Mayor Kim Abel said some council members wished to look at design standards before tackling the height issues. After a two-and-a-half-hour session, the council did not begin conversation on the hotly contested height standard question.

Councilwoman Rita DiIenno began the meeting discussing decisions made at the previous meeting — which she had been unable to attend, although she had viewed the video recording.

She applauded the council members’ action on the permitted uses but requested they revisit the question of the DOD borders.

The DOD borders included one parcel on the south side of Prospect Alley — the one on which the Casey and Casey law offices are situated. DiIenno requested the overlay district also include the two residential parcels east of the law offices.

The council ultimately decided to include the parcels, one of which is owned by Jerry Childs and Shannon Lowe. Childs and Lowe requested during public hearing that the council include their parcel because it is surrounded by the district on the north and west sides of their property. DiIenno agreed, seeing no compelling reason to exclude the parcel from the DOD.

“I’m pleased we expanded it to include those two lots,” DiIenno said Wednesday, “because I could see no policy reason not to.”

The remainder of the conversation focused on design standards. Mainly the council worked to prevent tall, flat-faced buildings from entering the downtown. Developers will be required to modulate the front of buildings at certain heights, creating distinction between the floors.

Closing the meeting, Abel asked the council to schedule two more dates for discussion.

The council will again meet on June 4 at 7 p.m. and June 12 at 7 p.m.

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