LACEY –– The Lacey Planning Commission reviewed a proposal that allows and establishes standards for buildings up to 500,000 square feet in size in the Light Industrial-Commercial (LI-C) zone.
Currently, the zoning district specifically prohibits buildings over 200,000 square feet. These standards were established in 2006 at the time the City was addressing building square footage standards in the Light Industrial (LI) zone. The intent was to limit the building square footage in the LI-C zone to ensure that it is a preserved property that allows smaller buildings to promote higher business diversity while authorizing larger buildings for warehouse and distribution centers in the LI zone.
The city staff in the previous meeting voiced few concerns about the retention of existing local small businesses on the site, water quality related to existing on-site septic systems, and compatibility with surrounding land uses. To combat these concerns, the city staff advised the applicant to include amendments that would align with the Comprehensive Plan and the intent of the Light Industrial-Commercial regulations.
“The proposed amendment is about granting flexibility for the development of this site, to allow us to preserve some existing buildings, encourage one large building and a bunch of medium size buildings on the site,” said Ryan Andrews, Planning Manager. “ It further looks to address the concerns that we heard from meetings from the staff after listening to the community and reading articles, it is very indicative of the fact that we need some of the specific requirements in order to respond well to the site.”
This proposed amendment will allow the establishment of buildings up to 500,000 square feet provided that the site is a minimum of 40 acres, reducing the displacement of small businesses, and evolving standards to address visual and noise impacts created by trucks on- and off-site.
“It would be extremely important for the City of Lacey to maintain a balance in diversity of different sizes of industrial buildings because many businesses would look for a smaller facility,” said Andrews. “We can see a significant amount of activity in the industrial marketplace, and a lot of that is not just around large buildings but buildings of different sizes. It's all about how well the buildings are optimized to particular tenant needs.”