Boundary-line adjustment for brewery will take time

TUMWATER - The proposed boundary-line adjustment for the former Olympia Brewery property is proving to be an awkward fit with the realities of current city rules and regulations.

Representatives of the Olympia office of Colliers International, the commercial real estate company marketing the brewery property, met Thursday with Tumwater planning and building officials to get feedback about the proposal. Colliers is trying to sell the property for owner Barney Ng of California.

Although the reasons for seeking the adjustment weren’t clear Thursday, it likely would have increased the marketability of the site by creating 16 parcels for sale, rather than the nine currently offered, according to a proposal map submitted for the meeting.

Colliers was represented at the meeting by Ryan Clintworth and Jennifer Anglin; city representatives included senior planner Chris Carlson and John Darnall, assistant director of Tumwater’s development services department.

Carlson started the hourlong meeting by pointing out that the city would not consider the proposal a minor boundary-line adjustment, but it would require that the property be subdivided through either the city’s plat or short-plat processes.

Both plat processes would be subject to environmental review, although there are some differences between the processes. The regular plat process, for a subdivision of five or more lots, is subject to a public hearing before the city’s hearing examiner, Carlson said, while the short-plat process for four lots or fewer is simpler because it is subject only to review by city staff members.

Other development factors that Colliers and Ng will have to consider include the city’s critical-areas ordinance because the former brewery property is near the Deschutes River. The property also lies within a 100-year flood plain, which prevents any new facilities being built in that area, and a commercial or industrial subdivision larger than 20 acres also is required to set aside 5 percent of the property for open space, Carlson said.

Darnall acknowledged at the meeting that a lot has changed to city rules and regulations since the brewery started.

“This was a beer town, a company town,” he said, adding that the private owners of the property did whatever they wanted to. “Now we have all this litigation and property rights and everything else which dictates that we are much more careful about what we do than they did years ago.”

Carlson and Darnall also threw cold water on a proposal to connect Capitol Boulevard with Cleveland Avenue via E Street, saying the incline to Cleveland Avenue would be too steep. They suggested a road would have to travel south through the brewery property a little farther before connecting with Cleveland Avenue.

Although Carlson, Darnall and other officials at the meeting presented Colliers with a list of requirements as part of the city’s plat process, they also emphasized they have an interest in the brewery property. “We certainly are motivated and the city really wants to see it put back to use rather than sit there and deteriorate,” Carlson said.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403