Poulsbo Place okay put on hold
June 10, 2008 · Updated 5:37 PM
"POULSBO - Used to getting what they ask for, officials from Security Properties, Inc. were stunned by city council Wednesday night when the majority of its members denied a formal discussion on Poulsbo Place. The developers of the project, however, weren't shocked into silence.They expressed their extreme disappointment with the decision before storming out of the room. The emotionally charged session got its first jolt when councilman Jeff McGinty motioned to table the Poulsbo Place discussion for two weeks in order to give SPI time to address outstanding issues at the Jensen Way development. Despite recommendations to delay from the city engineer, city planner and city attorney, the council split its vote. Councilmembers Connie Lord and Mike Regis pushed for the agenda spot, but councilmembers McGinty, Dale Rudolph and Jim Henry decided to postpone discussion on the matter. I feel sorry for my council to not have any discussion, any discussion, on Poulsbo Place, councilman Regis said following the vote. We can do this. However, the majority of council disagreed. The 3-2 vote to postpone discussion created some heavy consequences for SPI. The council must give final plat approval for Poulsbo Place before any houses can be sold at the site. As a result, closing dates that were originally set for Friday, Sept. 22 will simply have to be rescheduled. There has been a lot of falsehood, Regis said of talk concerning the project. We are effecting more than ourselves as a body. Charlie Morgan spoke in favor of the decision to delay and said he supported city engineer John Stephenson on the matter, but the majority of the floor during the public comment portion of the session belonged to Security Properties, Inc. I'm very disappointed tonight, explained contractor Larry Ward. We've asked you to approve 32 lots out of 164 lots and you've turned your back on us - you should be ashamed. The citizens of Poulsbo will be appalled. City attorney Scott Snyder pointed out that of the 43 items the engineering department had asked the developers to address by the session, only eight had been resolved. This statement only served to intensify Security Properties' accusations and at one point, Mayor Donna Jean Bruce had to pound her gavel to restore order. John Roscoe of SPI argued that the extensive punch list had already been taken care of and noted delays on the part of the city which have kept the project from moving forward. We have been working every minute of every day for the past three months to get this done, Roscoe said. He added that given the stance of the city, it was highly unlikely that the issues would be resolved before council's Oct. 4 session. Windermere Real Estate agent Judy Curran said hundreds of people had expressed interest in the new homes which are going up in the neighborhood. I feel like there's a mistrust of Security Properties, she remarked. It's just extremely frustrating, said project manager Steve Dymoke, who described the city's requirements as a moving target. Calling out comments from the back of the room as the public comment progressed, SPI officials continued to express their dissatisfaction with council's decision not to allow them the agenda spot. At this point, councilman Regis made a revised motion to approve the first 32-home phase of Poulsbo Place and to give the developers until Friday, Sept. 22 to resolve outstanding issues. He later downsized his motion to include just phase one A, or 10 houses at the site. There were some inconsistencies even to the final hour, he pointed out, citing faxes between the two parties. I do not appreciate the bureaucracy choking the community. Regis' motions died because the issue had officially been tabled. Snyder explained that the final plat approval was contingent to the checklist and was not subject to negotiation. When the public comment period ended, Poulsbo Place developers and supporters left the council chambers. During council's closing comments, Rudolph said he was some what put off that the group would come in, complain and leave before giving council a chance to respond. It's incredibly ironic that the first time we don't give (the developers) what they want they walk out - I am very much offended, Rudolph remarked, noting that he was especially concerned about what he called attempts by SPI to usurp the city's final plat process. It seems lost in the emotion that the professional engineer, the professional planner and the professional lawyer advised us not to make a motion. Councilmembers McGinty and Henry concurred. I resent being told that I am arbitrarily denying this, Henry said. Councilwoman Connie Lord, who lobbied for the agenda spot during last week's meeting, had a very different outlook on the proceedings. I am ashamed at how we treated one of our prime developers, a disgusted Lord explained, adding that despite staff's recommendations, staff was not the final authority on the matter, council was. Final plat discussion for the 32 houses in phase one of the development will be on the agenda at council's Oct. 4 meeting. "