Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Local Land Use Updates: Oak Tree Preserve and Grande Terrace

By Janine Unsoeld

Two unrelated local land use cases recently covered by Little Hollywood have seen schedule changes.

Oak Tree Preserve

A decision by Thurston County Commissioners about the proposed Oak Tree Preserve housing development in unincorporated Thurston County was expected July 8, but that date was changed to July 31, with the permission of both parties. 

The Thurston County Commissioners held a hearing about the case on June 23. The case before the commissioners is an appeal of a decision by a hearing examiner who approved the developer’s preliminary plat.

The developer, Oak Tree Preserve, LLC, proposes to subdivide 258.5 acres into 1,037 single family homes in Lacey’s urban growth area. The property contains Thurston County’s largest intact stand of Oregon white oak, a state-protected priority habitat.

The county commissioners asked the parties in early July for an extension until July 31 to issue their written decision on the appeal. In their request, they cited reasons due to the numerous motions that have been filed by the parties, the complexity of the issues, and the individual and collective schedules of the commissioners.

The parties will be notified and the decision will be posted on the county website as soon as it is received, at www.co.thurston.wa.us/permitting/hearing/hearings/oak-tree-preserve/otp.htm, said county land use clerk Cami Peterson in a voice mail to Little Hollywood this morning.

Grande Terrace Wedding and Event Venue

In the Olympia case involving a downtown Olympia wedding and event venue, a hearing scheduled for July 30 has been cancelled.

The Grande Terrace on Capitol Lake venue operator, Bart Zier, had been operating his business at 915 Deschutes Parkway in an area zoned residential without a permit. Even when issued temporary use permits, Zier had violated the terms of the permits and multiple city codes on several occasions. 

Zier withdrew his request to the city for a conditional use permit on July 8 and instead requested a temporary use permit to conduct six events in August and September. He is also requesting a grading permit to retroactively approve construction work previously done on the property, such as the pad on which a large tent structure had been erected.

Concerned community members and neighbors have written city staff, asking the city deny Zier’s new request, citing numerous city, state, and federal codes and regulations.

In a telephone interview this morning, senior City of Olympia planner Cari Hornbein said she expects to issue a decision on the permit by the end of this week. City staff conducted a site visit of the property last week, said Hornbein.

In May, Little Hollywood contacted several brides-to-be whose summer weddings were known to be scheduled at that location, and informed them of recent developments regarding the venue.

For more information about these two cases, go to Little Hollywood, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com and type key words into the search engine.