West Bay Yards

What's happening?

The City reviewed a presubmission conference application in May 2020 for property located at 1210 West Bay Drive. This is the site of the former Hardel Plywood facility.

A presubmission conference application is not a project application. A presubmission conference provides an opportunity for the City’s Site Plan Review Committee to meet with property owners or project representatives.

Conceptual plans are reviewed by the committee and feedback is provided to assist a project representative in the preparation of a formal project application.

About the project

The future project would consist of approximately 478 market-rate rental housing units in five mixed-use buildings and approximately 20,500 square feet of complimentary retail, restaurant, and recreation uses.

Site development is proposed in two phases, with building construction in three phases. The five buildings will sit on top of an elevated public plaza structure that will provide most of the parking for the development below grade. The plaza will enable the building foundations to be at the same grade as West Bay Drive.

A project application has not yet been filed with the City. Once an application has been submitted, those documents will be posted here.

Draft Development Agreement

The developer, West Bay Development Group, LLC plans to submit a project development application to the City following the City Council’s consideration of a draft development agreement.

An applicant may request the City Council to consider a development agreement to define specific parameters for a future project application. Development agreements are not required by the City. A development agreement is one of the few tools in the Olympia Municipal code that allow projects to be phased over several years. Development agreements typically address timelines for installation of public improvements like roads, sidewalks, and sewer and water infrastructure that are required components of a project.

Specific requirements for development agreements can be viewed in the Olympia Municipal Code Chapter 18.53. Development agreements do not grant any approvals for a future project. The City of Olympia requires a development agreement associated with a specific project or development plan to be heard by the City Council prior to consideration of any related project application (OMC 18.53.040).

The representative for West Bay Yards submitted a Development Agreement application to the City in August 2020 (Application No. 20-3136).

  • Timeline for the development agreement is 15 years.
  • Site and building phasing plans in the agreement outline the timing for all site work and construction of five buildings over the 15-year period.
  • Timing for payment of impact fees is established over the 15-year period.
  • The property boundary along the shoreline of West Bay will be restored by the project applicant consistent with the recommendations of the City of Olympia West Bay Environmental Restoration Final Report. The report was prepared by the City, Port of Olympia and the Squaxin Island Tribe and identifies potential restoration projects that can provide the opportunity to enhance the ecological functions of West Bay.
  • The project will include a 24-foot wide esplanade along the project waterfront, which would be accessible to the public and eventually connect to a waterfront trail to the south consistent with City plans.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on March 23, 2021 to consider the draft development agreement. The Council will consider the information below, in addition to any public testimony provided.

Development Agreement and Environmental Review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)

The City issued a non-project Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS) for the draft development agreement in November 2020. An appeal of the DNS was filed and an appeal hearing was held before the Olympia Hearing Examiner in February 2021. The appellant asked that the development agreement be required to undergo a SEPA Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

On summary judgment, the Hearing Examiner denied the appellant’s appeal, concluding that the City’s SEPA DNS was not issued erroneously. SEPA-related documents for the draft development agreement are listed below.

What's next?

After the development agreement is considered by the City Council, the project applicant may submit a project application to the City for review. All applicable zoning, shoreline and environmental regulations and codes will apply and be considered during the City’s permit review process.

The City will follow its standard public notification process. The City will host a neighborhood meeting for the public early in the review process to discuss the project and answer questions. The formal decision on a project application will be made by the Olympia Hearing Examiner after holding a public hearing. Written public comments will be accepted throughout the City’s review process.

A project-level SEPA environmental review will be conducted by the City for the project application. Please see the Site Plan Review Committee’s Presubmission Conference Worksheets listed above for the reports, studies and code submittal requirements for this project.

Stay informed

For questions on the proposed Development Agreement contact Tim Smith, Planning & Engineering Manager, at 360.570.3915 or tsmith@ci.olympia.wa.us.

For questions on the planned project, or to receive notice that the application has been submitted and when the neighborhood meeting is scheduled, contact Nicole Floyd, Principal Planner, at 360.570.3768 or nfloyd@ci.olympia.wa.us.