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City gives initial OK to SR305 design

POULSBO — As the start of the State Route 305 widening project nears, proposed access changes have received initial approval from city officials.

The most noticeable changes will occur at the south end of the project centered around the intersection of Hostmark Street and the state highway.

The existing open frontage to the highway in front of the old Sands building will be blocked by a sidewalk and access to the property will be via a driveway on Harrison Street. Also, the adjoining parking lot shared with strip mall that includes Money Tree and Los Cabos will be divided.

While things appear straightforward for many of the properties, access to the strip mall will be significantly reduced.

Currently, three driveways exist along that portion of the highway, but under the proposed changes, that number will be reduced to a single, right-in, right-out only driveway on the south end of the property. Thirteen parking spaces will be eliminated as well.

Chevron will lose its driveway closest to the Hostmark/SR 305 intersection and the Olympic Peaks Building (which houses the North Kitsap Herald) and American Marine Bank will share a 55-foot wide driveway, where the current bank driveway exists.

The North Kitsap Veterinarian Clinic will lose its southern access but maintain its northern one.

Viking Bank will lose its shared driveway with Bad Blanche, but share a driveway with Caffe Parousia.

The remainder of the properties north to Bond Road will maintain their existing access points.

Members of the city council’s public works committee agreed that access to the strip mall presented challenges and said they wanted the state to take another look at it before making a final decision.

“I have some questions about that one,” said Councilman Jim Henry, noting that access to the property is already problematic.

Councilwoman Kathryn Quade said the revision could cause drivers to pursue alternate routes.

“They’re all going to go down to Sol Vei or Harrison,” Quade told the committee, predicting what would happen if the access is changed to right-in, right-out only.

Another area of concern for the committee was access to the Poulsbo Business Park for southbound traffic.

“It’s going to be critical if there is no turn island,” Quade remarked, addressing possible safety issues arising from drivers turning across two lanes of traffic.

City Engineer Andrezj Kasiniak said he would forward the recommendation to the state for consideration.

“I think they can install a turn pocket for two or three cars with no problem,” Kasiniak told the committee.

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