Hearing examiner advises against rezone

Uses are ‘incompatible’ with neighbors, he says

PORT ANGELES — The proposed rezone of 4.5 acres for a Dollar General Plus store to be built between Old Joe Road, Doyle Road and U.S. Highway 101 is tentatively scheduled to go before the Port Angeles City Council next week.

The city’s hearing examiner recommended denial in a May 31 written decision.

It is scheduled to go before the city council on June 18.

The May 16 public hearing before the city’s hearing examiner featured 19 speakers and produced 34 written public comments, all against the rezone. Concerns included increased automobile traffic, multimodal access to commercial retail uses, crime, noise pollution, incompatible use, need for more residential housing, environmental impacts and the specific development itself.

City staff recommended against the rezone at the hearing because, although it would encourage economic development, it does not support the comprehensive plan’s goals and policies, they said. The staff recommendation was based upon zoning, lack of infrastructure and land analysis that shows other commercially zoned property within the city limits.

Any appeal of the city council’s decision must be made in Clallam County Superior Court within 21 days of the written decision.

Documents for the proposal are available at https://www.cityofpa.us/145/Current- Projects-and-Plans.

The proposal from 6S DG Port Angeles WA LLC of Delaware would rezone the area from residential low density to a commercial shopping district for a 10,640-square-foot Dollar General Plus store with 35 parking spaces on 2.48 acres.

A Dollar General Plus store is larger than the typical 7,000-square-foot to 9,000-square-foot Dollar General store and includes a refrigerated foods section. The project is contingent upon purchase of the property from James N. Turner of Port Angeles.

Hearing Examiner Peregrin K. Sorter stated in his decision that the rezone “does not satisfy the criteria from approval under the municipal code and should be denied.”

He cited concerns raised by the Clallam County Department of Community Development that the rezone would “represent a significant intrusion of incompatible, intensive commercial uses” that would be “substantially incompatible with neighboring properties.”

The department also was concerned that the property abuts U.S. Highway 101 in a location where westbound traffic from the Tumwater Truck Route merges with westbound traffic on U.S. Highway 101 and that the “rate of speed and traffic levels in the area make residential use of Old Joe Road and Doyle Road challenging.”

Other concerns were that the high-intensity commercial uses allowed under the rezone would “introduce unmitigable traffic safety concerns” and that “business patrons accessing the property from U.S. Highway 101 would increase the risk of collision on this portion of the highway.”

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached by email at brian.gawley@peninsulanews.us.

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