Permit for PEAK appealed

Islanders for Common Sense, the group of residents opposing the proposed Boys and Girls Club PEAK project, have appealed the city’s recent approval of a conditional use permit.

The appeal was filed Friday afternoon and contends “the project is unsupported by the facts presented in the record” and is “in conflict” with the city code of issuing a conditional use permit.

A conditional use permit for the PEAK project was approved last month by the city’s Planning Commission, a board of seven Island residents, after three public meetings. During the same time, the commission denied two previous appeals concerning the project.

The Boys and Girls Club is proposing the construction of a 45,000-square-foot youth facility that includes before-and-after school programs in a fieldhouse, teen center and child care with shared parking. The $16-million project is largely funded with private funds. The current Boys and Girls Club located on West Mercer Way was sold to Islander Michael O’Brien and is slated to become athletic fields. O’Brien will lease the property back to the club for the next 10 years. The plan is to demolish the old school while maintaining the existing gymnasium.

There are more than a dozen conditions the club and school district must meet under the permit approval. However, some neighbors surrounding the high school campus have voiced objections against the proposed size of the facility. Other neighbors have publicly supported the project while some are frustrated with the lack of a master plan for the 9.15-acre school district campus. The appeal highlights that frustration, arguing “the record has not established the acceptability of the PEAK Project in light of the character of surrounding development.”

The appeal also the Commission disregarded relevant testimony and a complete analysis of the project’s compatibility with the adjacent neighborhood. Islanders for Common Sense contend the record has not established the acceptability of the size and location of the site.

The appeal will be heard by a third party hearing examiner contracted by the city. The $583 for the appeal is refunded if the examiner rules in favor of the appellant.

The project must still obtain design approval from the city’s Design Commission, complete all required conditions and comply with standard city building codes before construction may start and the doors open once completed.

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