Public Hearing continued for 3-story hotel coming to Friday Harbor - Town staff report available

Friday Harbor Town Council decided to continue the public hearing regarding the 29-room three-story hotel planned for First Street in Friday Harbor after hearing concerns from citizens at the March 15 public hearing. More information will be posted soon.

A 29-unit, three-story hotel with an underground parking garage for 30 vehicles is proposed for two lots on First Street  across from the San Juan County Courthouse.  Each unit in The Moby at Friday Harbor will overlook the harbor. There are nine rooms on the first floor and the second floor. Eleven rooms are planned for the third floor.  A small bistro is also included in the plans.

The property is owned by Tami Roble of Renton. The architect is Carl F. Pirscher of CDA + Prischer Architects of Edmonds. The authorized agent is Wally Trace AGENT: Trace Real Estate Services, LLC of Seattle.

The property has been partially cleared. It borders the Port of Friday Harbor's upper parking lot and First Street. 

A public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, 2018 in Friday Harbor Town Hall. A report by Town of Friday Harbor staff has been posted to the Town's website.

According to the report: The applicants are proposing to utilize the Historic Preservation incentives outlined in FHMC 17.64.070 for height and parking. The height incentive will allow them to build to 35 feet calculated for the existing slope on the property.

They are also seeking the 50 percent reduction in parking incentive. Hotels require 1 space per room and the Restaurant use requires one (1) space for each 130 square feet of calculated new use area. The plan as currently submitted would require 37 spaces for the hotel rooms and restaurant. They have indicated that they can provide 30 spaces in the proposed garage. The applicant has begun meeting with the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) in order to be in compliance with them. This permit would be conditioned on approvals from the HPRB.

The property also falls within the View Protection Overlay District which requires a 10-foot setback on each side yard to protect the views from First Street towards the water. The applicant will submit a Boundary Line Modification application which creates one lot instead of two. This permit would be conditioned on the execution of this application.

The public will have access to the restaurant for shoreline views in this development. Construction must commence within two years and be complete in five years from the date of the Shoreline Substantial Development permit or the permit will become null and void.


  • Lisa Thursday, 15 March 2018 18:42 Comment Link

    Everyone who commented here should forward their comments to the Town Department of Community Development as official comments on the application, by tomorrow, which is the end of the comment period.

  • Mateo Friday, 09 March 2018 04:35 Comment Link

    Everyone wants the benefits of living in a thriving growing economy, but without the growth.

  • Mike Smith Thursday, 08 March 2018 20:22 Comment Link

    I hope there's a good turnout at he public hearing. Let the planners know that we want something that benefits the citizens of Friday Harbor and compliments our downtown. We don't need to grant a number of exceptions that compromise the downtown aesthetics and cause additional congestion just to benefit a single developer looking to make a profit off the tourist season.

  • Alice Deane Thursday, 08 March 2018 08:37 Comment Link

    And I've heard that the building that housed the Life Care Center is up for sale as another possible hotel. We just don't need all these hotels when there are so many other community needs for spaces.

  • Steve Ulvi Thursday, 08 March 2018 08:19 Comment Link

    I, too, would like to see an analysis of current hotel room capacity in the fall, spring and winter months in FH. So once again the summer blast of tourism will pay the new hotels bills and the Bistro will compete with other eateries that can't fall back on selling rooms to stay solvent in the winter months. Smaller slices of the little winter pie.

    Sounds like a wealthy developer from elsewhere without a care or clue as to local economic issues and attendant cause and effects of lack of affordable housing,water use and further inflation of an "insane tourist invasion" summer. Oh and then there is the cliff edge location for a 3 story monstrosity dominating the harbor skyline.

    Your questions about what does the community get in return besides bed tax and some short term construction jobs is right on. How about if the Town requires the builder to provide so many units of permanent affordable housing or apartments or donate a large sum to the Community Home Trust for small houses within the town limits in order to get the go ahead to uglify our waterfront?

    I hope folks will show up at the public meeting although it may already be a lost cause except for the color.

  • Bridget b Wednesday, 07 March 2018 21:38 Comment Link

    I don't See this plan being any sort of advantage to this community. The one spot we have all cherished should have some benefit aesthetically to add to the charm of our town. Not a fan.

  • Susan Wednesday, 07 March 2018 20:11 Comment Link

    I agree, it is a horrible plan and I agree with the individual who brought up garbage, water etc. issues. And the increased traffic ......

  • Jodie Wednesday, 07 March 2018 18:17 Comment Link

    Are you saving the bottom floor to house all the workers that serve the tourist?

  • Jan Goldberg Wednesday, 07 March 2018 16:06 Comment Link

    Hotel and restaurant owners have been struggling this winter (and most winters) due to tourist dropoff. In the summer, they pay a huge penalty when they compete for workers at higher and higher wages. And, those workers have an almost impossible task to find acceptable housing.

    So, we are going to add to those problems? Who benefits other than the land owner?

  • Ted Turner Wednesday, 07 March 2018 11:58 Comment Link

    I wonder if the current hotel occupancies would support that many new rooms? How much more water and sewer and garbage can the City handle? Is this development really needed?

  • Eldon Bryant Wednesday, 07 March 2018 09:34 Comment Link

    This site deserves a development that will enhance the community, either a place for public gatherings or perhaps a small commercial structure with public access that can be used year around. What it dose not need is a oversized, ugly building that depreciates our community. If the development wants a hotel, at least make it attractive and appealing and compliments our scenic views.
    This design is really unacceptable

  • GAIL Wednesday, 07 March 2018 07:59 Comment Link

    I think that the spot is appropriate for a hotel. It is in a commercial area, and it will have parking. This type of hotel may take some business from VRBO, that it seems every islander hates.

  • Shelley Wednesday, 07 March 2018 07:26 Comment Link

    The view from that spot is one of the best on the island. It should be preserved, not exploited!
    Very bad idea.

  • Rob Simpson Tuesday, 06 March 2018 23:43 Comment Link

    What will they do for the 9 months out of the year when there's no tourists?

  • Eve Tuesday, 06 March 2018 18:36 Comment Link

    When’s enough enough? Sad!

  • Cher Tuesday, 06 March 2018 13:54 Comment Link

    So sad.....


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