The Olympia Hearing Examiner has approved a shoreline substantial development permit, shoreline conditional use permit and land use for Dockside Flats, a mixed-use project proposed for the former Les Schwab site in downtown Olympia.
Hearing Examiner Mark Scheibmeir issued his ruling on Friday. Barring appeal, his ruling clears the way for the project at 210 State Avenue to proceed.
The developer, Walker John, who has redeveloped or developed several buildings in Olympia, aims to build a three-story building with 44 apartments on the second and third floors and 6,400 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor. It also will have 29 parking stalls on site and 10 parking stalls on the street.
The project needs a shoreline substantial development permit because it falls within 200 feet of Budd Inlet. That also limits building heights to 35 feet.
In his ruling, Scheibmeir noted that the project "has been found by city staff to comply with all requirements and has been well received by the public, including Friends of the Waterfront."
During a public hearing this month, former Olympia mayor Bob Jacobs, who spoke on behalf of the Friends of the Waterfront, said the group supports the project and applauds "the final design and its efforts to avoid view impacts along the waterfront," according to Scheibmeir's ruling.
Scheibmeir also accepted written comment.
Two people expressed concerns that the project does not provide enough parking. The project is exempt from required residential parking, but "provides for more than the required number of parking stalls for commercial uses," according to his ruling.
However, Scheibmeir asked whether the parking should be limited to commercial uses only. City staff did not object to such a condition, but John's representatives asked that it not be imposed, calling it a "restriction unnecessary and unduly burdensome on the proposed apartment units."
Developer John is also working to arrange a mural on the new building that will replace the mural that will be demolished with the old building.
Among John's projects to date: Redevelopment of the Cunningham building at Fourth Avenue and Adams Street; Franklin Lofts at Legion Way and Franklin Street; the 321 apartments next door; and Campus Lofts on Jefferson Street near the east Capitol Campus.
Les Schwab, meanwhile, moved to Plum Street and Union Avenue in Olympia.