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Development set near Useless Bay

A proposed mixed-use development of residential and commercial buildings called Useless Bay Village received final approval from Island County Commissioners in December. It will be on this 4-acre site, which is on the south side of Highway 525, east of McDonald Drive and south of Useless Bay Road. - Gayle Saran
A proposed mixed-use development of residential and commercial buildings called Useless Bay Village received final approval from Island County Commissioners in December. It will be on this 4-acre site, which is on the south side of Highway 525, east of McDonald Drive and south of Useless Bay Road.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

Someday soon there may be a new business district just off Useless Bay Road.

On Dec. 10, the Island County Board of Commissioners approved a final site plan for a mixed-use residential and commercial project to be located just south of Useless Bay Road and Highway 525 at McDonald Drive.

The proposed project, named Useless Bay Village Square, calls for six buildings on 4.6 acres.

Though located far from any other commercial development, the plan was allowed because it was reviewed and pre-approved under the county's old land use code as being in a non-residential floating zone. Freeland developers Bill Sievers and Bob Olson, who own H&H Properties, first submitted the plan in 1994, receiving conditional preliminary approval in August 1996.

The project plan would be developed in two phases. The first is 12 single-family, two-story townhouses with condo ownership in three buildings. The second consists of three limited-use commercial buildings that could house a small bank, office space for professional services and a convenience grocery store.

Prior to the submittal of building permits for the commercial offices in the second phase, a new traffic study which includes a level of services must be approved by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

John Shevenell of Passage Architects, Inc. is the architect for the project. Drawings of the project include extensive plans for drainage and septic systems, parking spaces, walkways, outdoor lighting and landscaping. The proposed development would be part of the Bayview Beach Water District.

The the parking and pedestrian plan includes one reserved parking space at or near the door of each of the 12 residential units, walks at all parking spaces, three handicapped accessible spots and six loading spaces. The proposed plan calls for all utilities to be placed underground. The lighting plan calls for cut-off luminaries in the parking lots, downlights in building canopies along the walkways.

"We don't expect to build at this time. We are re-evaluating our options for the property," said Sievers.

"The marketplace has changed considerably since we began this project."

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