The area bears the name of an earlier plan for 500 units that the council turned down last year; neighbors have fought both plans, citing concerns including flooding and traffic.
Voting for the R 4-8 zoning were council members Julie Hankins, Nathaniel Jones, Steve Langer and Jim Cooper. Voting against was Councilwoman Jeannine Roe. Councilwoman Karen Rogers was absent.
Berghausen Consulting Engineers, on behalf of developer D.R. Horton, requested changing the zoning of about 80 acres at 3355 Morse-Merryman Road to a zone allowing six to 12 units of residential per acre from Neighborhood Village zoning. Barring that, the applicant asked for zoning of four to eight units per acre.
The site is where Horton had proposed a 500-unit master-planned development called Trillium, which the City Council denied last year. A Thurston Superior Court judge upheld the city s denial in February, and Horton is appealing further.
The developer submitted the application for rezoning under protest, meaning that it prefers the master plan zoning but will pursue the lower-density residential zoning if it doesn t prevail in its appeal.
Neighbors voiced opposition to the rezoning during a public hearing Nov. 6.
The area is near Chambers Ditch, which floods in the winter. Many neighbors have expressed concern about further flooding.
Rhonda Olnick of Morse-Merryman Road said she s concerned about the property being clear-cut and resulting storm runoff.
I m concerned about our property, Olnick said, which she said floods every winter. Traffic is another concern.
Duana Kolouskova, an attorney for D.R. Horton, said the development wouldn t make downstream flooding worse and that it s unfair for the council to require Horton to fix a problem that already exists.
On Monday, the Olympia Planning Commission recommended zoning about half the property to a more restrictive zoning category, R4-CB, which would limit the minimum lot size to 1 acre unless certain drainage was allowed. Even then, 12,000 square feet would be the minimum lot size. That s in contrast to the R 4-8 zoning it proposed for the other half, which allows lot sizes as small as 2,500 square feet.
But on Tuesday, Jones moved to allow six to 12 residential units per acre, saying it s in keeping with the city s goals. His motion died for lack of a second.
Langer then moved to zone the whole area R 4-8, which was City Manager Steve Hall s recommendation.
I believe that the R 4-8 is protective because of the flooding issues on adjoining properties, and that is the primary consideration as far as I m concerned.
Matt Batcheldor: 360-704-6869 email@example.com @mattbatcheldor