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Pacific Seafood agrees to good neighbor policy

The former Pacific Fabrication building, which is proposed to become a dorm for seafood plant workers. (Peggy Yingst)
By Cindy Yingst, Thursday, October 3, 2019

The city of Warrenton and owners of Pacific Seafood have signed a good neighbor agreement in hopes of quelling concerns about a planned dormitory for workers along Northwest Warrenton Drive.

The document spells out expectations of the seafood processing company in managing the 100 plant workers who would live there.

There is no home-owners association or other entity involved, so the agreement is with the city on behalf of all residents, Community Development Director Kevin Cronin said.

Residents living on Northwest 17th Place, a development east of the proposed dormitory, have been most vocal in their concerns.

The agreement requires Pacific Seafood to:

** Construct a 6-foot fence along the south and east property lines.

** Install a sign at the access that says “Please be respectful of our neighbors by not talking loudly or loitering on this property.”

** Provide a shuttle for dormitory residents to and from the plant and for shopping. Shuttle drivers would not be allowed to use access streets in the development on 17th Place.

** Provide 30 off-street parking stalls for those residents who have cars.

** Remove within 24 hours any employee who is terminated from his/her job.

** Conduct criminal background checks on every resident, allowing only those with acceptable backgrounds to live there.

** Post the name of a contract person and email where anyone can submit complaints or questions about the operation. Pacific Seafood will respond within 72 hours.

** Make reasonable efforts to control litter.

“It’s been interesting to watch how this got put together,” Mayor Henry Balensifer said.

The company proposed plans in late 2018 to use an industrial site it owned, the former Pacific Fabrication property, to house employees. Many of the seafood plant employees are low-paid transient workers and finding places for them to live has been extremely difficult.

In January, city commissioners approved a legislative amendment allowing dormitories in employment areas zoned for water-dependent industrial uses.

After some neighbors protested, the company held a neighborhood meeting Aug. 26 at Warrenton Community Center. Eight residents attended.

All residents requiring legal notification of property decisions proposed at the dormitory property also received invitations to the neighborhood meeting, as did anyone who requested to be put on the notice list, said Michael Robinson, a land-use attorney for Pacific Seafood. No additional comments had been received since the community meeting, he added.

Warrenton Planning Commission is expected to hold a public hearing on Pacific Seafoods’ conditional use permit at its Oct. 10 meeting.

The former Pacific Fabrication building, which is proposed to become a dorm for seafood plant workers. (Peggy Yingst)

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