The Port Orchard City Council released finalized notes late last month from its planning retreat, which also was attended by Mayor Rob Putaansuu and other city government leadership.
The Feb. 20 meeting at the South Kitsap Fire District’s conference room on Fircrest Drive SE was requested by Putaansuu at a council meeting shortly after he and council members were sworn in for a new term in office.
Notes transcribed from the meeting have been placed in an “outcome” document now available for viewing on the city’s website at www.cityofportorchard.us.
At the start of the retreat, attendees agreed to a vision statement that called for a future Port Orchard with a “vibrant, attractive downtown that is multi-modal with improved sidewalks.”
It continued: “We provide more transit and transportation options for those coming into and commuting from the city, and have increased the number of our Park & Ride lots to offer transit and ferry riders.”
Their “favorite features” of Port Orchard included: the city’s setting, or location; community growth; people; lifestyle; affordability; waterfront and views of Puget Sound and the Olympics; local government; and proximity to outdoor activities.
During the retreat, those attending set a list of prioritized 2016 work plans:
Community Development/Public Works: Create toolkit of resources for new businesses and developers that will attract more — and new — people to invest in Port Orchard; create a Transportation Benefit District; complete the comprehensive plan update by June; update development codes, including procedure and design standards; and obtain funding for the Tremont corridor project.
IT/Technology: Implement IT upgrades in the Seitel Plan.
Finance: Create financial priorities to inform future budgets; implement biennial budget.
City leadership and staff also outlined goals to accomplish in 2017 and beyond. The goals were placed in six separate categories:
Be ahead of change:
— Update code to address derelict buildings; evaluate staffing and City Hall space needs; continue staff/Council communication regarding the Gorst project.
— Track changes in WSDOT’s plan for addressing the city’s fish barrier culverts.
Harness “the evolution” that is coming to Port Orchard:
— Provide more funding to parks and open space.
Invest in downtown and the waterfront:
— Create a conceptual design for the next phase of the Bay Street Pedestrian Pathway.
— Determine the future of the marquee.
— Begin planning how to move parking off the waterfront.
Engage community partners:
— Begin plans for at least three sub-areas prioritized in 2016.
— Establish and start a public process for a redesign of the Bethel corridor.
Balance growth with affordability:
— Begin applying for funding for Tremont.
Create predictability in development:
— Add to and continue sharing the toolkit to attract businesses and developers to the city.
— Establish policies for development connectivity, and check if this is already in the comprehensive plan and development regulations.
The retreat members also looked beyond 2017 and established goals for 2018-2020. Those include continuing the Bay Street pathway project; moving parking off the waterfront; complete construction of Tremont; evaluate the need for a parks department; completing conceptual design for a joint-use civic center; and move forward the Sidney Avenue project.