Viking will get a bride, Farmers Market a home in ’14

Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson’s presentation     generates interest — and questions —   Jan. 8  at Gateway Fellowship. - Richard D. Oxley / North Kitsap Herald
Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson’s presentation generates interest — and questions — Jan. 8 at Gateway Fellowship.
— image credit: Richard D. Oxley / North Kitsap Herald

POULSBO — Mayor Becky Erickson has looked toward the horizon of 2014, as Poulsbo continues to grow. The city is expected to experience a slew of development, and the mayor shared her vision for the year Jan. 8.

There was a podium and a stage in Poulsbo’s Gateway Fellowship Church’s assembly hall, but Erickson left them behind as she strolled through the crowd during her discussion.

The lunch, and opportunity to hear the mayor speak on the state of the city, was hosted by the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce. It attracted a veritable who’s who of the area’s business community.

Erickson went neighborhood by neighborhood, and though she touched upon the city’s current state, her discussion largely centered on what to expect in 2014.

There was plenty to list.

A new Viking sculpture

“The Viking needs a wife, with kids,” Erickson said of the sculpture, formally titled “The Norseman,” at Viking Avenue and Lindvig Way.

“Right at that intersection (Lincoln and Highway 305). We want to call it ‘The Bride of the Viking.’ ”

Erickson said the city is pursuing a public arts grant to pay for a sculpture to pair with Poulsbo’s other Viking sculpture.

But Poulsbo’s aesthetic improvements won’t stop there.

“I want to put a troll under the bridge for Highway 3,” Erickson said. “Every Norwegian town should have a troll under the bridge.”

Public art wasn’t the core of the mayor’s State of the City presentation, but it did pique some interest — as did the notion of a new Poulsbo bus route.

Erickson said the city is working with Kitsap Transit to establish a new route that would loop through the city in 30 minutes.

New homes and parks

The spring season is expected to bring construction throughout the city, many for new subdivisions and housing developments from Finn Hill to the Noll Road area. The developments will add hundreds of houses to the city, along with new parks.

One development, for example, Mountain Aire, will add approximately 150 houses. The development will include a park with trails, and a stormwater system that will handle much of the stormwater load from Noll Road.

Erickson also said that plans are developing for a new park on the ridge at Olhava, near Walmart, unofficially called “Vista Park.” The scenic park will boast trails, benches and plenty of trees.

North Viking Avenue

Viking Avenue north of Highway 305 will see the addition of a gas station, a public works facility, a Kitsap Transit park and ride, and a fast-food restaurant — rumored to be a Sonic drive-in, the mayor said.

Erickson noted that Mora Ice Cream’s factory will move into the north Viking Avenue area, as will some multi-family housing.

South Viking Avenue

The mayor also had news for the south end of Viking Avenue, which has had difficulty recovering from the Great Recession.

“We are trying to have the Poulsbo Farmers Market move into Nelson Park,” Erickson said.

The market has recently sought assistance in finding a more permanent location and facility to host its vendors.

“It would make a wonderful home for the farmers market and it would jumpstart Viking Avenue,” Erickson said. “It is centrally located and it would bridge downtown with Viking Avenue. Additionally, we are doing a trail connection so you will be able to walk from downtown to Nelson Park and the farmers market.”

Erickson said she is hoping that Sound Brewery will find a way to purchase and move into the former Courtesy Ford dealership property on Viking Avenue. The brewery previously made an offer on the site, but movement on a deal has been slow.

“I would like to see him complete the purchase of the Ford building and move in there,” she said. “We need the foot traffic. We need more people on Viking Avenue. (Sound Brewery) would be great in that building. I hope we can make it work.”

Highway 305

A new Safeway store and gas station is expected to open in spring. A CVS Pharmacy has also begun planning a new location at Highway 305 and Hostmark Avenue. As a result, the city is planning to trim willow trees along Highway 305 that block views of Poulsbo Village and the Central Market area.

“There is going to be some competition with Safeway,” Erickson said. “Central Market is going to be impacted by it. The Village is going to be impacted. We need to give our businesses a fair shake and give them some visibility.”

The mayor also commented on the expected CVS Pharmacy, which will be the first such store in the state.

“They are knocking on our door,” she said. “They are pushing back on traffic impact fees, they don’t pay them where they are from. We charge impact fees in Poulsbo and we take that money and invest it back into our town. It’s one of the reasons we are so healthy.”

Erickson added, “Those that charge impact fees are wealthier, better-maintained communities. It works.”

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