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City visioning effort continues moving ahead

POULSBO — With the input gathered from members of the public who chose to attend one or both of the community conversations sponsored by city officials, work on the first draft of the city’s update comprehensive plan will begin in earnest.

Thursday night’s meeting at Poulsbo Elementary School was the last chance for the public to be involved on the ground floor of the process, said project manager Meghann Glavin.

“There is a great opportunity for public input in the community questionnaire on the city’s Web site,” Glavin said.

The survey can be found at www.cityofpoulsbo.com and by clicking on the Project Poulsbo link.

Even though Thursday was the final community conversation before summer, that doesn’t mean the public will be shut out for the remainder of the process, Glavin said.

“We will be having more community conversations in the fall,” she said. “We want to make sure we have them in times when people will be here.” By that time, the initial draft of the comprehensive plan should be ready for public comment, Glavin said.

For Poulsbo resident Mary Carter, Thursday’s meeting provided a chance to let the city’s elected officials know how she feels about the city’s future.

“They need to do it with input from the people instead of just making it up themselves,” Carter said.

Among her personal concerns are the city’s increasing traffic problems and explosive growth, she said.

“I’d like to see responsible development,” Carter said.

As a veteran of the city’s first state-mandated comprehensive plan in 1994, former Mayor Donna Jean Bruce said periodically the plan needs to be updated because the city has changed since the last time it was completed.

“I think the people who have lived for a long time have a different view than the people who just got here,” Bruce said. “We just need to do what’s good for all of us.”

At the first community conversation earlier this month, Bruce said she heard many good thoughts about the city’s future and she was hopeful for more of the same Thursday.

As one of the city leaders tasked with ensuring the updated plan meets the state’s requirements and is representative of residents’ wishes, Councilman Ed Stern said people need to remember the plan isn’t a city-initiated document, but rather a state mandate.

“This is an opportunity for people to be heard in a positive manner,” Stern said.

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