A project to build five duplexes designated as senior housing on KP Highway NW is moving forward in the permitting process.
The Key Peninsula Land Use Advisory Commission (KPAC) moved to approve the application at its June 2018 meeting and the Pierce County hearing examiner review was scheduled for late April.
Gig Harbor real estate agent John Holmaas owns the project. He bought the 5-acre parcel, located at 13819 Key Peninsula Highway NW, a Rural Neighborhood Center, about 20 years ago. The parcel is across the highway south of the Shell Gas Station and the Key Center Auto Shop.
Holmaas said he has built similar developments and believes this one would meet a need in the community. Each unit would be on its own lot within the parcel.
At the KPAC meeting, several people who live near the proposed site expressed concern about traffic, the amount of grading and filling required for construction, and the significant increase in population density. Senior housing, where at least one member of the household is 55 or older and no residents are younger than 18, is an approved use in an RNC. KPAC commissioners noted that building homes on the commercially-zoned parcel would have less impact than some other potential uses.
Holmaas said that he had gained approval for four triplex units in 2009 but that project was put on hold by the economic downturn. He also felt that duplexes would be more desirable than triplexes. “People don’t want the center unit,” he said.
Holmaas plans to complete the site work, but he will not move forward immediately to build the duplexes. “I’m 78,” he said. I need to have a partner for the next stage, or to find a buyer to take over from here.”