Voters should have say in use of former police station site

I recently attended an open meeting at Poulsbo City Hall. A presentation was made by a developer which outlined his desire to purchase the city-owned property where the police station used to be and construct a four-story apartment building covering a large portion of the site.

The building would consist of various-size housing units and underground parking for the residents. There were about 40 people in attendance.

I learned of the meeting by word of mouth and, as far as I know, no newspaper article appeared prior to the meeting notifying the public of when and where it was to be held. I have seen nothing in the papers saying what happened since the meeting regarding this proposed construction. Mayor Erickson attended the meeting, however, I heard no comment from her. The only audience comment I heard was, this area is already congested with automobiles and a better place for an apartment building would be near the empty Albertsons store in Poulsbo Village. I could not understand the reply from the developer.

My opinion is, the site should remain city property and made into a park. If additional parking is needed, it should be provided by an underground paid garage with the grade level remaining as a park. My reasoning is this: Poulsbo is rapidly turning into a well-known tourist destination rather than a quaint little town with a Scandinavian background. I recently saw a large ocean-going tourist boat in Liberty Bay. Large tourist sight-seeing buses are not uncommon. The parking area next to the waterfront park is at times nearly filled.

Park land near the water is a very valuable asset for residents of Poulsbo and a drawing card for tourism. I believe an increase in tourism would have more financial benefit than additional residential property. The voters of Poulsbo should have a voice in this matter.

Jim Buckel