The Gig Harbor City Council will hold an open house from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Monday at the civic center to provide information about a proposed zoning ordinance in the waterfront district.
The meeting will be held immediately before the regularly scheduled city council meeting at 5:30 p.m. Both events will take place at the Gig Harbor Civic Center, 3510 Grandview St.
The council voted last month to postpone a vote on the waterfront zoning, effectively reopening the floor for public comment. However, before the floor could be reopened, council members wanted to provide an opportunity to inform the public about surrounding circumstances.
“With the concern of some of the public of what we were trying to do, combined with a lot of misinformation, it seemed like trying to extend the process to address concerns would be best approach,” council member Michael Perrow said.
Current zoning allows for one-story, 16-foot-tall buildings, and buildings with peaked roofs can reach 27 feet. A new zoning amendment could allow for buildings up to 27 feet with flat roofs, therefore allowing two-story buildings to be constructed in the waterfront area.
The proposed change is intended to promote economic vitality and to preserve the character of the area. However, some council members believe some of the public’s concerns have been misguided.
“(The biggest misconception is) that this is going to create, in the downtown, no view of the water and a deep, dark canyon of buildings, which is just not true,” Perrow said. “And, in fact, in the downtown, in many cases, this would enhance the view.”
Jeni Woock of the Citizens for the Preservation of the Gig Harbor Waterfront, reportedly has gathered about 1,200 signatures on a petition that asks residents to so no to any zoning changes on Harborview Drive.
Any new building would have to adhere to existing codes on corridor requirements, as well as others, Perrow said. He said he expects a good turnout at the open house, and council members encourage the public to attend before they speak at the council meeting.
“We probably should get a good turnout,” Perrow said. “It’s been publicized quite well. A lot of people are confused about the issue. Hopefully we’ll get a good turnout and help straighten out the issue.”