West Bay Yards

What's happening?

The City has received an application for a Shoreline Substantial Development Permit to construct five buildings over a two-story parking structure. The project includes a mix of uses including 478 residential units, approximately 10,000 square feet of retail and approximately 11,000 square feet of restaurant area at 1210 West Bay Drive. It also includes 833 parking stalls, an elevated public plaza, public access through and around the site, shoreline restoration and a waterfront trail. This is the site of the former Hardel Plywood facility.

The Shoreline Development is a type of Land Use Review. The review will focus on the conceptual proposal and will evaluate the plans against the applicable regulations. This project is within 200’ of a shoreline of the state, and as such it is regulated by the Shoreline Master Program, which places emphasis on ensuring human health and the natural environment are protected as well as compliance with other federal, state, and local ordinances.

The permit process includes several steps and can take several months to complete. The City’s review team will make a recommendation to the Hearing Examiner who will make the decision whether to approve the project application. That decision will be forwarded to the Department of Ecology for a final review that must be completed before the process is complete. The following information outlines key steps between now and project completion as well as some information about opportunities for public input.

Important dates


Project review begins by the Site Plan Review Committee

The Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) is made up of subject matter experts from various divisions within the City. Their role is to review the project proposal for City code compliance. This team is made up of representatives from the following divisions: engineering, transportation, stormwater, wastewater, solid waste, urban forestry, building, fire and planning. This team will spend the next several weeks evaluating the proposal for code compliance.

Outside agency review/public comment

The project will be distributed to all applicable Federal, State and local agencies as well as to everyone within 300’ of the site, adjacent registered neighborhood associations, parties or record, notice will be posted onsite and on the city’s website etc. Agencies and community members are encouraged to provide input on the project as it relates to applicable codes, ordinances, and anticipated impacts.

1st comment period deadline: July 27, 2021.

The applicant provided a brief presentation on what they are proposing and the City provided information about the permit review process and how to access information about the project.

The Design Review Board will evaluate the project for compliance with the adopted and applicable design criteria. This review will occur before the public hearing on the project. The meeting is open to the public, but public testimony is not taken during the meeting.

Written comments about the projects design can be submitted to the project planner in advance of the Design Review Board meeting and will be considered by the Board. The Board will make a recommendation to the Hearing Examiner about the project’s compliance with design criteria.

A complete and thorough review of the projects anticipated environmental impacts will run concurrently with the project review. SEPA review is done concurrent with the review for code. Input from Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies as well as the community will be evaluated. Application materials supporting the Environmental Checklist prepared by the applicant have been submitted and are available for review on the website. A public comment period will accompany a determination once it is made.

The Olympia Hearing Examiner is responsible for issuing a decision on whether to approve the project application. A notice of public hearing will be distributed after City staff completes their review. The Hearing Examiner will then conduct a public hearing and consider public testimony. The decision of the Hearing Examiner is appealable to The Shoreline Hearings Board.

Public input

Public comments are accepted throughout the permit process through the public hearing. Generally, comments should be sent to the Project Planner for distribution to the appropriate reviewing body. There are four major comment periods within the project as outlined below:

Comment Period Audience Purpose Email to:
1st Round Review
Comment period: June 29-July 27, 2021
City staff (SRPC)  Assist in identifying important issues to address / confirm code compliance on.  Project Planner, who will distribute to applicable City Staff. 
Design Review
Comment period: TBD
Design Review Board  Identify ways the building does /does not meet applicable design criteria.  Project Planner, who distributes to the Board members in advance of meeting. 
Both 1st Round Review and Design Review comments are sent to the Hearing Examiner as he makes the final decision on those elements.
SEPA/Environmental Determination
Comment period: TBD 
SEPA Official 
  • Identify environmental issues not mitigated by code requirements.
  • Identify deficiencies in the Checklist.
  • Suggest different determination be made.
Project Planner, who will distribute to the SEPA Official. 
The SEPA determination is not made by the Hearing Examiner, unless referred to him upon appeal.
Public Hearing
Comment period: TBD 
Hearing Examiner 
  • Identify areas of code deficiency.
  • Raise new concerns not already established.
  • Recommend conditions.
  • Recommend an outcome (approve / deny). 
Project Planner, who will distribute to the Hearing Examiner. 
Written comments are accepted throughout the permit process and at the hearing. Verbal comments are accepted at the hearing.
Questions/Code Discussion  City staff (SRPC)  Clarify code applicability or process.  Project Planner, who will distribute. 
General correspondence with Staff is not typically included as a public comment to the Hearing Examiner, Design Review Board, or SEPA Official.

 

Submittal documents

What's next?

1st Review: The City’s Site Plan Review Committee will prepare a summary of the necessary changes the applicant will need to make in order to comply with the City’s development standards. This consolidated list will be sent to the applicant who will have up to six months to submit revised plans.

The Site Plan Review Committee will make a recommendation to the Hearing Examiner based on their review of the project’s compliance with the City’s development regulations. A Staff Report will be prepared for the Hearing Examiner that outlines the basis of the staff recommendation which will be available for review by the community approximately one week before the public hearing.

Following the Hearing Examiner’s Decision, the Department of Ecology will conduct a final review. Only upon completion of that review is the permit review completed.

Stay informed

For questions or to become a party of record and receive email updates on the comment periods, meeting dates, etc. contact Nicole Floyd, Principal Planner, at 360.570.3768 or nfloyd@ci.olympia.wa.us.

 

Presubmission Conference

The applicant submitted for a presubmission conference application in May of 2020 to gain early input from the City regarding code requirements.

Development Agreement

The developer, West Bay Development Group, LLC received City Council Approval for a development agreement on March 30, 2021, following a public hearing on March 23, 2021.

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.

Land Use Petition

An appeal of the Development Agreement was filed with the Thurston County Superior Court on April 15, 2021.