The Future of Downtown

The following information represents the most current details on the One Harbor Point Project proposed by the Ben B. Cheney Foundation. The Foundation's inquiries to the City's Planning Department began over a year ago (NWC Company). It was formally introduced in a letter from Brad Cheney in September of 2016. Their proposal has yet to be publicly vetted. 

The Cheneys have invested a great deal of time and money in the One Harbor Point Project.  It represents a beautiful, very professional, and highly sophisticated design. Supporters of the proposal have every right to take advantage of the City's codes which allow developers to petition for exceptions to current building regulations. 

We hope that One Harbor Point supporters will acknowledge and respect the Community's right to disagree.

In 2012the City's Visioning Process demonstrated overwhelming support by the general public to preserve the scale and character of our downtown commercial and residential districts.  Those who oppose the project feel that One Harbor Point is incompatible with the town's character and sets a dangerous precedent for all future development in the View Basin (see 2012 Visioning Open House photos, data, and findings).

The 2+ acre Triangle property located at the intersection of Harborview and Soundview Drives is currently zoned Medium Residential (see Zoning Maps). The Cheney's are proposing "35 high-income townhouses" on the Triangle site, and "3 high-income residential homes" on the two waterfront parcels. The City's current zoning restricts densities to a combined maximum of 8 to 10 dwellings on the uplands plus 3 on the waterfront (not including the Boat Barn parcel).

The One Harbor Point image above identifies "new public viewing opportunities."  At best these "view corridors"are narrow site-lines that exist between buildings. At present, the City's single-family dwelling zone requires set-backs, landscaping, as well as building size and height limits, that far exceed the open space offered by One Harbor Point.

The Cheney Project cannot be permitted without multiple code deviations to current heights, setbacks, and density limits adopted under the Gig Harbor Municipal Code (GHMC).  These deviations are approvable under the City's little known Development Agreement (never before used in the downtown area). This process authorizes a super-majority of the City's 7-member Council to bypass the GHMC and downtown Zoning Regulations

In spite of robust public input in 2013 that limited commercial building heights in the downtown to a maximum of 27 feet, Council is being asked to approve a 15-ft height deviation for the Cheney Project. One Harbor Point includes building heights of 42 feet.

One Harbor Point Elevation Illustrations

The images below show a beautiful urban design unlike anything currently considered characteristic of Gig Harbor's historic downtown. The subject site is located in the City's designated Historic District.

Elements appear to replicate the modern architectural design and features of the Russell Foundation located on Harborview Drive.

One Harbor Point Project Documents:

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)

On February 13th, a super-majority of public testimony was opposed to the use of Development Agreements in the downtown area.  Let City Council know what you think.


City Council Meeting   Mon - Feb 27, 2017 - 5:30 pm

Gig Harbor Civic Center | 3510 Grandview Street

Council will review Resolution 1068 that rejects the Katke Amendment to the City's current Development Agreement.