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Plaza 305 marks trail for highway beautification

POULSBO — Poulsbo City Councilwoman Connie Lord has hopes the ugly duckling State Route 305 project will turn into a beautiful swan or something close to it at the south end of the project.

“There’s not much we can do at the north end of the project, but there are some things we can do on the south,” Lord said.

Instead of hydroseeding grass on the right of way along the highway, the Washington State Department of Transportation is providing non-grass areas for the city’s use, she said.

“The goal is to have it with more of a boulevard effect,” she said.

The last thing anyone in Poulsbo wants is to have the highway look like State Highway 99 in Seattle or Wheaton Way in Bremerton, she said.

“Plaza 305 is going to be the model,” Lord said. “I do feel that it is going to break the ice.”

Once Plaza 305 begins its landscaping project, the next step will be to get the remainder of the property owners along the highway on board to do similar projects along their frontages, she said.

Councilman Ed Stern agreed with Lord that the appearance of the highway as motorists enter the city from the south is extremely important.

“We don’t want to look like a Wheaton Way in Bremerton,” Stern said. “We are a Tree City and pride ourselves in that.”

Even though the state has stripped away the greenery along the highway as part of the widening project, it was on land that was purchased in the 1950s for that very purpose, he said.

“I think we have pride in Poulsbo, and the building owners and property owners along the highway should have pride in their front door,” Stern said.

Even though the city can’t penalize a property owner for not landscaping their highway frontage, city officials are going to make every effort to help beautify SR 305, Stern said.

Mayor Kathryn Quade also expressed her hope that the SR 305 corridor will have a pleasant appearance, but added one word of caution.

“Without the cooperation of the businesses along 305 it won’t happen,” Quade said.

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