There’s still time for Tumwater-area residents to comment after a developer submitted plans for a warehouse distribution center earlier this month.
Panattoni, which has had several preliminary conversations with the city before taking the next step, submitted a notice of application on July 1 for a 480,000 square foot warehouse on a 30-acre site it calls the South Sound Trade Center.
The location he identified is off Center Street, south of 78th Avenue SW. Although in Tumwater, the land is owned by the Port of Olympia and is part of the new Port Market Industrial Campus, which is located between I-5 and Olympia Regional Airport.
In fact, the port and Panattoni entered into an agreement a few years ago that allowed Panattoni to explore development on the 200-acre parcel in the area.
Meanwhile, Panattoni, which has an office in Tacoma, has requested a consolidated permit review for the following: application for site plan review, transportation competition ruling, threshold determination under the state environmental policy, site development/classification and building permits.
In other words, Panattoni wants to throw everything into one administrative review by the city, said Mike Matlock, director of Tumwater’s community development department.
The consolidated process is permitted by city code and state law, and the state has 120 days to complete the work. However, the city is free to start and stop the clock over the 120-day period, Matlock said.
“If we find something that needs adjusting or if we don’t have all the information, we can let them know and stop the clock,” he said.
Warehouse distribution is a permitted use in the area, Matlock said. The land is zoned industrial related to the airport and has a zoning overlay that allows for distribution warehousing.
The proposal lacks a development agreement between the port and the town of Tumwater regarding Panattoni’s projects in the area. Development agreements do not replace the land use process, but are designed to guide development and provide incentives for those who participate in it.
In this case, the city wanted to take a community center out of the process, while the port wanted assurances that the rules wouldn’t change on them over a 10-year period. The two parties could not agree.
Once the notice of application was submitted on July 1, those within 300 feet of the property lines were notified of the proposal. However, Matlock acknowledged that there were no residences in the area. The request was also posted on the city’s website, he said.
The proposal only requires a review by the city. It will not be presented to Tumwater City Council or the Hearings Examiner, Matlock said.
The comment period ends at 5 p.m. on July 18. If you would like to comment on the app, email Tami Merriman at [email protected]
If you miss the comment period, another chance to comment is once a SEPA decision has been made. This is followed by a 14-day comment period and a 10-day appeal period.