News

Poulsbo wants public input on comprehensive plan

POULSBO — City leaders are looking to citizens to provide input on a document that will steer Poulsbo’s planning and development in future years.

Released Wednesday night, a new draft comprehensive plan is available for citizen viewing. It incorporates updates to countywide planning policies and the Growth Management Act.

In a 5-2 vote the city council agreed Wednesday to a public participation plan that includes a Feb. 10 open house at the Poulsbo Fire Station and subsequent meetings and workshops. Dissenting council members Linda Berry-Maraist and Becky Erickson cited concerns the council hadn’t had the chance to view the document before committing to the public input method.

“It is probably the critical document the city will adopt in the next 10 years,” Erickson said.

The process of updating Poulsbo’s Comprehensive Plan began in 2007. Previously, it had not been updated since the creation of its 1994 version, which now includes many amendments. The plan is based on public input; in the past the city has offered a course on local planning, community conversations, workshops and questionnaires on the topic. Planning Consultant Karla Boughton said the document is meant to reflect “the community’s needs, desires and aspirations for the future.”

At nearly 300 pages — plus appendices — those needs and desires are many.

“The comprehensive plan’s purpose is to provide the city with a policy framework within which its decisions should be made that affect the future development and growth evolution of the city,” Planning Director Barry Berezowsky explained. He led the department in transforming the document from “difficult and cumbersome” to more user-friendly. “We’re clearly interested in hearing the community’s opinions, their interests or concerns.”

The draft Comprehensive Plan can be viewed on the Project Poulsbo page of the city’s Web site, www.cityofpoulsbo.com, or in hard copy form at the Poulsbo Library and Planning Department. A hard or disc copy can be purchased by request.

The first joint meeting between the council and Poulsbo’s Planning Commission will be held next week.

For more information, call (360) 779-3901.

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