Thursday, July 22, 2010

Proposed Chambers Lake Residential Development Application Withdrawn

by Janine Gates

The application to the city for the proposed Chambers Lake Residential development in southeast Olympia has been formally withdrawn by the applicant, Triway Enterprises.

A terse, two sentence email to city planner Brett Bures yesterday afternoon sent by Jeff Pantier of Hatton Godat Pantier, who represents Triway Enterprises for this application, states, "The applicant has decided to withdraw the preliminary plat application. The Public Hearing will no longer be necessary."

The public hearing was scheduled for Monday, July 26th, in the Olympia city council chambers.

Asked to comment today on the email, Pantier told this reporter, " Tri - (Vo) - Triway - just decided to focus on other things they have going on. The city was recommending a denial, you know, so, not to say it couldn't go through...."

Jeanette Dickison, formerly Jeanette Hawkins, a project manager and frequent spokeperson for Triway Enterprises, is out of the office until Monday and was unavailable for comment.

Tori Cookson of Triway Enterprises said the application withdrawal was "just about timing and other issues I wouldn't want to comment on."

Triway Enterprises is known to be facing bankruptcy issues.

When asked, Bures could not guess how many hours he has spent on this application, which he has worked on since it was first submitted in 2004. The application has taken several forms since that time.

If the application is ever resubmitted to the city for review, the project would have to comply with the latest regulations, such as stormwater and engineering design, said Bures.

Lou Guethlein, a resident on Wiggins Road, and president of the Association of Citizens Concerned About Chambers Lake Basin (ACCCLB), was thrilled with the news.

"You should have seen me when Brett told me the news - I let out a whoop and gave him a big hug," said Guethlein, during a break in today's proceeding on the proposed Trillium development. "This is a tremendous victory."

Proposed Trillium Hearing Update

The hearing for the proposed Trillium development in the Chambers Lake Basin area concluded today. The hearing was held at the Eastside Fire Station. It began at 9:00 a.m. and adjorned at 5:40 p.m. The hearing examiner is under a two week requirement to reach a decision, however, the attorney for the applicant, DR Horton, said she would waive the requirement to give city hearing examiner Tom Bjorgen more time to deliberate.

The county gave its presentation on stormwater issues in the morning. Traffic related testimony, with cross-examinations, and final remarks took up the bulk of the afternoon.

Chairs were set up in the room for community members to observe the proceeding.

Cristiana Figueroa lives on Hoffman Road near the proposed development, and was present as a private citizen all day at the hearing. Professionally, she is a chemical and environmental engineer for the state Department of Ecology.

Asked to comment on the proposal during a break in the proceeding, Figueroa offered her unique perspective:

"I strongly believe that the city has rushed into a position that is not consistent with citizen benefits. I wanted to hear what the county said about stormwater issues and I was delighted that they provided a bigger perspective that clearly shows that this project should be denied. Further stormwater analysis should be done," said Figueroa.

"The benefits of the forest next to LBA Park has not been fully recognized, and what the destruction of that forest would mean. It's a natural space that holds volumes of water. It's a pollutant filtering agent and has wildlife habitat."

"I understand engineering disciplines - we are taught to understand the intersection of mathematics and the natural environment. We see such a level of detail that we lose the big picture - I see this over and over again as an engineer. I can see where they (the applicants) are coming from, but we are at a stage as a society where we need to get beyond the individual project impacts and look at the regional big picture."


In a previous story, "Trillium Development Hearing Continues Next Week," dated July 14, 2010, a caption under a future street connector sign was incorrect. A major collector gathers between 3,000 - 14,000 daily trips, not between 3,000 - 4,000 as written. I guess I just could not believe my notes, which were written with the correct information.

For more information and previous stories on proposed developments in southeast Olympia, search this blog at

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