Olhava sees residential interest

POULSBO — As commercial activity in Olhava has moved beyond drawings and into construction, the first residential development entered the discussion stage Monday night.

Pacific Properties of Bellevue has proposed to build 185 single family residences on two residential sites under the Olhava Master Plan.

The 41.42-acre property is bound by State Route 305 to the north, State Route 3 to the west, Finn Hill Road to the south and Viking Avenue to the east.

The neighborhood meeting, which was held at the Poulsbo Fire Station, was the first step in the development process, said Poulsbo Senior Planner Linda Mueller.

“They’ll probably have to do a comp plan amendment, a master plan amendment and a planned unit development, but all of those can be done simultaneously,” Mueller said.

The developer is the first to move beyond a pre-application meeting and meet with neighbors in the area, she said.

“It gives them a chance to get some feedback from neighbors and let people know what’s going on,” Mueller said, adding that the next step will be for the developer to file a formal application with the city’s planning department. The entire process should take about three months, once the application is submitted.

“We don’t know how they’re going to phase it, but they’re hoping to start work next summer,” Mueller said.

Lots will range in size from 9,000- 4,500-square feet, said project consultant Eric LaBrie.

Even though a traffic study was done in conjunction with the master plan, another one is being conducted since conditions have changed during the last 10 years, LaBrie said.

Another change from the master plan for both sites is the number of houses being proposed, he said.

“We all looked at the master plan at the time that proposed 230 units on the two properties, and we cut it back 45 units,” he said.

In addition to reducing the number of proposed units, the developer has altered the route through the property in an attempt to avoid potential traffic issues.

“The original route was a straight shot through and we decided to make it circuitous route,” LaBrie said, noting that the serpent-like pattern should slow traffic through the area.

With traffic calming being a priority, the needs of emergency service vehicles were also a consideration, he said.

“We couldn’t make the turns too sharp or else emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to make it through,” he said.

A trail system will also run through the development but instead of going behind residences, it will make its way through public areas, LaBrie said.

“A lot of people were unhappy having walking trails behind their houses, so we took that and said it doesn’t make sense for safety reasons,” he said, explaining why the trails are being designed in open spaces.

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