Newspaper Archive of
Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
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Mason County Journal
December 18, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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December 18, 2014

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Page A-10 - Mason County Journal - Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 Still no dedsion on in-fill lot requirement By GORDON WEEKS gordon@rnasoncoun corn For Shelton city officials, a three-hour discussion Friday on "sidewalks to nowhere" hardly went anywhere. The city is considering temporarily abandoning an ordinance that requires new homebuilders to build side- walks so it won't have to set aside $60,000 for the program in 2015. The frontage-improvement ordinance calls for developers on in-fill lots, or new construc- hon on vacant lots, to pay for the mstallatlon of mdewalks m front of their properties, while the city provides the engineer- ing work and stormwater fa- cilities. In some cases, this has created isolated 60-foot-long idew chunks. -~"~-: tliree commission- heads gathered Friday morning at Central Mason Fire & EMS's downtown Shelton fire sta- tion for one task: to give their staff direction on options on frontage improvements, in- Journal photo by Gordon Weeks City officials met for more than three hours Dec. 12 in the fire station to discuss sidewalk requirements. They are, clockwise from left, Commissioner Mike Olsen; Mayor Gary Cronce; Steve Goins, executive director of community and economic development; City Administrator Dave O'Leary; Public Works Director Greg Clark; City Engineer Mike Michael; and Commissioner Tracy Moore. Instead, he walked out :of the study session after two hours and 38 minutes -- about 45 minutes before the meeting ended -- without moving from his position that the sidewalk c~ding the option to place a moramrmm on me reqmre- ji be eliminated men~ .... / : ~ reqmremen At ~e=be~$ Of .the because it discourages :home- meeting, Mayor Gary Croncebuilders. said he was seeking a corn- By the end of the meeting, promise on sidewalk require- City Engineer Mike Michael ments because the city is faced and Public Works Director with a quick budget decision. Greg Clark were instructed to take the commissioners' corn- "If the city gets offthe hook, ments and develop a recom- the builders get off the hook," mended plan. Cronce said. The city could consider He added, "The issue is not requiring asphalt instead the sidewalks -- it's economics of sidewalks in front of new ... I want policies that encour- houses on in-fill lots, which is age Shelton to grow." cheaper, Clark said. Commissioner Mike 01sen Cronce said he has opposed suggested the city could re- the sidewalk requirement for quire homebuilders to pay for 30 years, including his years the surveys, which saves the as a builder. He said he favors city money. Builders know a moratorium, how to make sidewalks, which only cost about $2,000, he said. "You can do this in a way that doesn't cost the city or the builder a lot ... I don't think abandoning the sidewalks is the answer," Olsen said. He added, "I think we can come up with alternatives that work in the neighborhood you're in." Cronce said he couldn't see himself compromising on the issue with Olsen. "We are So overregulatod ... and sidewalks are part of it," he said. Commissioner Tracy Moore said she's not willing to throw out or suspend sidewalk re- quirements. Olsen's sugges- tions are "a reasonable com- promise," she said. During the public hearing at the meeting, Shelton resi- dent Marilyn Vogler suggested the city should suspend the sidewalk requirement for two or three years and see whether it spurs sales of lots. "We need that develop- ment," she said. Heidi McCutcheon, execu- tive director of the Shelton Mason County Chamber of Commerce, said she favors a short suspension on the side- walk requirement while the city forms a committee to look into it. After two hours, the mayor said he was done talking about the issue. "Continue on with your con- versation," he said. "Send me an email." Twenty minutes later, he walked out. Shelton 301 E Wallace Kneeland Plaza Blvd I Because jobs change lives /goodwillwa goodwillwa.org ii' Toys Excludes all special purchase items. Not valid at blue boutiques, outlet stores or online. Not valid in combination with any other coupon, promotion or special event. **Valid on donated Christmas merchandise only. *Valid on apparel, shoes & accessories only. One day sale 12/20/2014 only. Weekly Special 12/22-31/2014 only.