OVER-Developing Gig Harbor

(originally posted on January 7, 2017)

In Feb 2016, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) warned the City that we are growing 78% beyond adopted targets.  We do not have the infrastructure or the community support for the current trajectory of unrestrained development.  So why then is Mayor Guernsey promoting a "Development Agreement" to construct up to FIVE TIMES the density capacity currently allowed on the property shown below? 


The PSRC is a government planning organization that develops long-range (20-30 years) transportation planning, economic development, and growth management policies for Puget Sound counties and cities.  We must follow PSRC's VISION 2040 policies in order to remain eligible for state and federal funding.

Every Puget Sound Comprehensive Plan update requires PRSC review and certification.  Gig Harbor's 2015 Comprehensive Plan did not receive PSRC approval.  Mayor Guernsey responded to PRSC in a letter dated January 13, 2016.  She did her best to justify that the City is "curbing" development. 

Instead, PSRC offered Gig Harbor a "conditional approval" of the City's Comprehensive Plan stating:

  • Land use assumptions used in the transportation element of the updated pln exceed the adopted targets by a significant amount.
  • avoid incentives for additional growth above and beyond the adopted targets.

The fact is that the Mayor's actions are in direct conflict with PRSC's directives. (see Upzones Map proposed in May of 2016)

  1. This Administration sanctioned a proposal to UPZONE ELEVEN DOWNTOWN PROPERTIES in 2016. The results would have created even more gridlock. Thanks to overwhelming opposition from the public, the Planning Commission tabled the proposal.  
  2. This Administration supports a DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR THE CHENEY PROJECT in order to bypass Gig Harbor zoning regulations that would quadruple density in that residential neighborhood.
  3. This Administration supports a DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR THE 6-ACRE QFC SHOPPING CENTER owned by the Milgards and represented by the Olympic Property Group.  Back in 2013, the public worked vigorously to limit downtown buildings to 2-stories. How then can 3 to 5 stories of residential units be appropriate?  

Local property owner, Jeffrey Katke, located adjacent to the proposed Cheney Project submitted the following letters. Let Councilmembers know what you think: Email or send your own.

It is inevitable that change will occur.  But unrestricted growth that destroys our quality of life is not.  

The next DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENTS meeting is: 

Plng & Blg Committee   Mon - Mar 20, 2017 - 5:30 pm

Gig Harbor Civic Center | 3510 Grandview Street

The meeting will focus on the Public Input Process for Development Agreements. Public Comment will be allowed. (Committee Councilmembers: Paul Kadzik | Steve Ekberg | Rahna Lovrovich)

Jan 27, 2017 |  PSRC Comprehensive Plan Update -- Path to Full Plan Certification for Six Small Cities